Archive for the ‘Tax Revenues’ Category

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

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 […]

Rethinking Homeownership Subsidies

Tax expenditures for homeownership, such as deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes and the partial exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a primary residence, have long been recognized as ineffective, regressive, and extraordinarily expensive—costing $121 billion in 2013 alone. Until now, most reforms—including the Bowles-Simpson deficit-reduction plan—have focused on restructuring the mortgage […]

Analyzing Taxes and Transfers Together

Government redistributes income through tax and spending programs. Nearly everyone pays some tax – be it federal or state income taxes, payroll taxes, or sales taxes. The tax system also affects people by delivering a host of benefits through tax expenditures (subsidies like the mortgage interest deduction or the child tax credit).   And broad spending […]

How to Improve the Tax Subsidy for Home Ownership

Last week, at the request of the House Ways and Means Committee, I testified on how Congress could reform the mortgage interest deduction, a popular tax expenditure provision with a big sticker price. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the mortgage interest deduction will cost $380 billion over the next five years, making it […]

The President’s Plan to Cap Retirement Saving Benefits

The president’s FY 2014 Budget would limit tax benefits for workers with high-balance retirement saving accounts. Although critics call the plan a blow to workers’ retirement saving, I consider the plan a smart way to roll back the billions in tax breaks that go to investors who don’t need tax incentives to save for retirement. […]

Hiking Dividend Taxes to Pay for a Corporate Rate Cut

Finland’s government recently announced a broad fiscal reform package that cuts corporate tax rates—financed in part by higher taxes on corporate dividends. The plan makes sense for Finland and is worth considering here at home. Finland will lower the corporate rate to 20 percent in 2014, down from the current rate of 24.5 percent (and […]

Why the Tax Cuts in the Senate Budget Don’t Add up

The Senate Democrats’ budget, like the House version, rips unfair and inefficient tax preferences that litter the revenue code. But the tax provisions of the Senate budget, which is being debated on the floor today, raise at least two big problems: They see flaws in only in those tax expenditures that benefit high-income households and big […]

“Common Sense” Aside, What Do We Really Know About Capital Income Taxes and Growth?

If you’re discussing tax policy with someone who asserts that his or her point is “just common sense,” this could indicate one of two things: Either no deep thought is required—as the person would have you believe. Or no deep thought has been applied. The “common sense” notion that capital income taxes hinder growth seems […]

Changing Government’s Inflation Measure Would Raise Taxes as Much as it Would Cut Spending

Changing the way government adjusts spending and taxes for inflation is one of those issues that continues to hang around the edges of the budget debate. Republicans and many economists argue for shifting to a more accurate inflation measure, called the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). President Obama would support a version as part of a […]

Desperately Needed: A Strong Treasury Department

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, set the bar very high. The Senate is about to begin debate over President Obama’s nomination of Jack Lew to be Treasury Secretary. Lately, confirmation hearings have often focused on either the personal foibles of candidates or relatively evanescent policy disputes. But at a time when fiscal […]