Topic: fiscal cliff

State Taxes and the April Surprise

By :: July 22nd, 2014

In recent months, several governors have complained about the April, 2014, surprise in state tax revenues. They say they were shocked when personal income tax payments fell far below expectations. They shouldn’t have been. What happened? In part, in an effort to beat an upcoming increase in capital gains taxes, investors accelerated realizations into tax […]

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The Year in Taxes: From the Fiscal Cliff to Tax Reform Talks

By :: December 12th, 2013

The year in taxes started with the nation toppling, briefly, over the fiscal cliff. And it ended with some interesting policy proposals on tax reform though little political progress. Remember the fiscal cliff? While that crisis was resolved on New Year’s Day, it really began in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed the Economic […]

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Time to Fix the Budget Process

By :: November 4th, 2013

Congressional negotiators are trying to craft a budget deal by mid-December. Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square asked twelve experts what they hoped that deal would include. My suggestion: it’s time to fix the budget process: Odds are slim that the budget conference will deliver anything big on substance. No grand bargain, no sweeping tax reform, […]

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

By :: February 15th, 2013

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 […]

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What You Should Know About the Budget Outlook

By :: February 8th, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office released its latest Budget and Economic Outlook earlier this week.  As always, the Outlook provides insight into the fiscal status of the federal government. My three overarching reactions are: First, because American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) instituted tax changes that had been widely expected, the official (“current law”) baseline is now much […]

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The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

By :: February 1st, 2013

In one of the more dangerous fiscal developments of recent months, some on the left are defining successful deficit reduction as merely stabilizing the federal debt at about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2022. While there is no magic target, this one is far too modest and threatens to leave future fiscal policy […]

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Deficits After ATRA

By :: January 31st, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), the New Year’s legislation that effectively forestalled the bulk of the January 2013 fiscal cliff, probably staved off a recession. But compared to doing nothing, Congress made the deficit worse by passing ATRA. New Tax Policy Center calculations show how much more deficit reduction Congress will need to approve […]

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A Tiny Little Blog Post on a Tiny Little Tax Bracket

By :: January 17th, 2013

Weird Tax Fact of the Day: The fiscal cliff deal (aka the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) created what may be the world’s tiniest tax bracket. Under the new law, singles face a rate of 35 percent if their taxable income falls between $398,350 and $400,000. The bracket covers a grand total of $1,650. […]

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A Budget Deal is Staring Them in the Face, But Here’s Why Lawmakers Won’t Compromise in 2013

By :: January 15th, 2013

There is an obvious solution to Washington’s perpetual budget crisis. But it is unlikely to happen because all the incentives—both political and economic—are completely wrong. First, the solution: The core of a deal was framed last December, when President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were on the verge of a long-term fiscal agreement that would have cut […]

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What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for the States

By :: January 11th, 2013

The fiscal cliff deal is done and the question on everyone’s mind: What about the states?  Okay, so only a handful of us are actually asking this question. But there are some important provisions that will matter to states still woozy from the Great Recession. The good news for states is that American Tax Relief […]

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