Archive for the ‘fiscal cliff’ Category

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

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 […]

Time to Fix the Budget Process

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, […]

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 […]

What You Should Know About the Budget Outlook

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 […]

The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

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 […]

Deficits After ATRA

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 […]

A Tiny Little Blog Post on a Tiny Little Tax Bracket

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. […]

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

What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for the States

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 […]

No, Ari, The Cliff Deal Will Raise The Economic Incentive To Give To Charity

Huffington Post reports on this tweet/warning from former Bush press secretary, Ari Fleischer: I increased donations to charity in 2012. This deal limits my deductions so I, & many others, will likely donate less in 2013. Mr. Fleischer is referring to the phaseout of itemized deductions, which had temporarily expired but was reinstated by the Tax […]