Archive for the ‘Economic Stimulus’ Category

Why the More Generous Child and Earned Income Tax Credits Should Be Made Permanent

co-authored with William G. Gale While most of the tax drama these days is focused on the fate of 50+ mostly-business tax breaks that expired nearly a year ago, lawmakers are also debating two provisions that are enormously important to low- and moderate-income households-the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Temporary […]

Five reasons Why the Sequester’s Automatic Spending Cuts are Bad Policy

In two weeks, about $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts will begin to kick in, a testament to the inability of policymakers to reach a grand fiscal bargain. Allowing these cuts to happen would be terrible policy. Here’s the background: In August 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act (BCA) as a last-minute solution to […]

Japan (Re)Tries Fiscal Stimulus

Last week Japan announced a massive stimulus package designed to jumpstart its slumping economy, which is in the midst of its fifth recession in 15 years. The stimulus initiative, heavy on infrastructure spending and disaster preparedness, includes $117 billion in central government spending. Add in local government and private-sector support and spending could top $200 […]

Will the Payroll Tax Cut Fall Silently Off the Cliff?

If a tax cut is scheduled to expire, but the focus of the debate is elsewhere, will people notice? Will the average family be surprised when their taxes rise by $1,000 or more next year, even if most of the rest of the 2001-2003 tax cuts are extended for all but the wealthiest Americans? That’s […]

Gloom or Doom from CBO

The Congressional Budget Office’s summer budget update charts two undesirable paths for the nation’s economic and fiscal health next year. Call them Gloom and Doom. Gloom is what happens if the tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled to arrive in January actually occur. CBO says that would drive the economy back into recession in […]

Taxes Don’t Always Drive the Economy–Sometimes the Economy Drives Taxes

Don’t tell my Tax Policy Center colleagues I said this, but it isn’t always about taxes. If you listened to the presidential campaign this week, you’d think the very fate of the nation rests on what happens to the 2001/2003 tax cuts. It would be hard to believe otherwise as Mitt Romney’s warns us daily […]

Just How Big is the Payroll Tax Cut?

The 2-percentage-point payroll tax cut extended by Congress in December and again last week will save workers a total of $114 billion this year, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Spread over nearly 160 million workers, that’s an average tax cut of $714. Yet the typical news report says “the average worker earning $50,000 […]

A Federal Umbrella for State Rainy Days?

As state legislatures return for what promises to be yet another difficult budget year, they ought to be starting to refill their rainy day funds–those accounts that set aside money for future hard times. That’s a tough decision. After all, for the past three years, states have been raising taxes and cutting spending just to […]

Note to the Rich: Don’t Spend All of Your Payroll Tax Cut Yet

After much anguish, Congress finally extended this year’s payroll tax cut for two more months. The final bill passed in nearly empty chambers a couple of days before Christmas. But this version differed in an important way from the measure passed by the Senate just a few days earlier. The final bill removed a cap […]

The 16-Percent Solution—Hard on the Rich

The fate of The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 remains uncertain. But thanks to a carefully crafted technical change to the current payroll tax cut, the Senate version prevents a handful of very high wage earners from potentially enjoying a huge windfall from the two-month tax break. The legislation would cut the […]