Topic: Budget

A Tale of Three Agendas: Obama, Camp, and Ryan

By :: March 4th, 2014

Over the past week, three senior Washington lawmakers released foundational documents that describe both their agendas and their perspectives on government. On one level, they paint vastly different pictures. Yet, a close reading also pinpoints some surprising and important areas of agreement—more perhaps than the players would publicly admit. President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget […]

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Individual Income Taxes May Soon Generate Half of All Federal Tax Revenue

By :: February 6th, 2014

Over the next decade, the individual income tax will be the fastest growing source of federal revenue, according to new estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. In fact, the individual income tax will pretty much be the only revenue source likely to increase significantly over the next decade.  As a result, it will generate more […]

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The Cruel Political Paradox of Deficit Reduction

By :: February 4th, 2014

I was chatting the other day with a fellow budget wonk who noted the cruel paradox of fiscal politics: When the economy is bad, deficits rise and the public support for reducing them grows. Yet a poor economy is the worst possible time to raise taxes and cut spending. By contrast, a period of strong growth […]

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Federal Job Cuts Are Not Just Biting Inside the Beltway

By :: February 3rd, 2014

Government employment is down again. But while cuts in state and local jobs drove the decline in 2011 and 2012, the federal government is the culprit now. The federal workforce has decreased about 3 percent, or 75,000 positions, from last year. That’s in sharp contrast to the slightly positive growth (0.3 percent) for the state […]

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Tax Policy is MIA in the State of the Union

By :: January 29th, 2014

When it comes to tax policy, President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was a model of modesty. There was little new. And, while it is always hard to tell what really matters in a speech that included more than 40 separate initiatives, the president showed little enthusiasm for broad-based tax reform. With […]

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IRS Gets Hammered in the 2014 Budget Agreement

By :: January 14th, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service is one of the biggest losers in the 2014 budget deal agreed to last night by House and Senate negotiators. Under the agreement, the service would get just $11.3 billion, which is $526 million below its 2013 budget and $1.7 billion less than President Obama requested. According to the House Appropriations […]

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Pay to Extend Unemployment Benefits? Why Not Pay to Extend Temporary Tax Breaks Too?

By :: January 9th, 2014

In the battle over whether to extend long-term unemployment benefits, one of the Republican talking points is: Sure, we’ll consider an extension, but it must be paid for. That’s a fine idea. Here’s another: In exactly the same way, Congress should offset the cost of restoring dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired on Dec. […]

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TheTaxVox 2013 Lump of Coal Award: Wait ‘Til Next Year Edition

By :: December 23rd, 2013

Tax Vox proudly announces its seventh annual Lump of Coal Award for the worst tax and fiscal policies of 2013. The year was a curious mix of really bad ideas and dithering. After all, Congress’s finest moment may have been its December budget mini-deal—a decision that effectively ignored every one of the great fiscal questions facing […]

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The Budget Deal: A Needed Time Out From Washington’s Fiscal Tantrums

By :: December 11th, 2013

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached what can only be called a temporary fiscal truce—if they can convince their congressional colleagues to accept it. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) hammered out a lowest-common-denominator deal that gives both parties two years of breathing room—and talking points. […]

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Whither the Tax Extenders?

By :: December 10th, 2013

In three weeks, more than 60 expiring tax provisions will…expire. At least for a while. It isn’t unusual for these mostly-business tax breaks to temporarily disappear, only to come back from the dead a few months after their technical expiration. But this time businesses are more nervous than usual. Their problem: Congress may have few […]

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