Topic: Tax Proposals

Len Burman’s Brief for a Health Care VAT

By :: April 24th, 2014

In the cover essay in the current issue of The Milken Institute Review, Len Burman calls for a Value-Added Tax (VAT) to pay for government health care costs. Len, the director of Tax Policy Center (and, thus, my boss), argues that a dedicated—and fully transparent–health care VAT would increase public support for efforts to slow the […]

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A Flash Tax for the Flash Boys

By :: April 18th, 2014

Michael Lewis spotlights high-frequency traders with his new book, Flash Boys.  These traders use high-speed computers and fast connections to outrace investors, and other traders, to the market.  They now account for more than half of all U.S. stock trades.  And the flash boys spend billions to save milliseconds (by, for example, laying expensive fiber-optic […]

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If Congress Lets Firms Expense Investments, It Should Take Away Their Interest Deduction

By :: April 17th, 2014

Egged on by business lobbyists, congressional tax writers seem increasingly interested in allowing firms to rapidly write off the cost of their capital investments. Especially in the House, lawmakers would allow small businesses to expense the full cost of their investments in the year they are acquired, and let larger firms heavily front-load tax depreciation […]

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Does Anyone Care About a Simple Tax Code?

By :: April 10th, 2014

One of the biggest  selling points for tax reform is the claim that a new and improved revenue code would be easier for taxpayers to manage. Along with economic growth and fairness, simplicity has been a watchword for reform for decades. But a striking new survey by the Associated Press-GfK  has me wondering whether anybody cares. […]

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If You Have High Income, Your Taxes Are Going Up

By :: April 8th, 2014

As the April 15 deadline for filing 2013 income taxes nears, most of us are finding that Uncle Sam will take about the same share of our income as last year. But the story is very different for people at the top of the income ladder. Their taxes are going up, in many cases by […]

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Why Most Tax Extenders Should Not Be Permanent

By :: April 3rd, 2014

What to do about the tax extenders—or, as my colleague Donald Marron calls them, the “tax expirers”? Restoring the current crop (most of which expired on December 31) for 10 years would add about $900 billion to the deficit. House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden […]

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House Republicans Punt on Tax Reform

By :: April 1st, 2014

The House Republican budget, released today by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), kicks the tax reform can down the road yet again. Not only does it fail to enhance chances for a tax code rewrite, it almost certainly sets the effort back. This budget isn’t so much an actual fiscal plan (the framework for […]

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Thank You, Dave Camp

By :: April 1st, 2014

House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI), who said yesterday that he’ll retire from Congress at the end of the year, will leave behind an enormously important achievement.  At a time when too many of his fellow lawmakers substitute easy partisan rhetoric for hard work, Camp wrote a serious tax reform plan. His […]

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Should Tax Reform Be Sold on Values Instead of Economics?

By :: March 31st, 2014

Maybe the best way for tax reformers to get political traction is to focus on values, not economics. That, at least, was one take-away from three political scientists who spoke at a Tax Policy Center panel today. Until now, backers of reform have focused primarily on economic arguments: A reformed tax code would increase growth […]

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Mission Impossible? An Upcoming TPC Panel Will Explore the Politics of Tax Reform

By :: March 27th, 2014

Everyone agrees that the tax code is a mess. So why is it so hard for Congress and the President to fix it? On Monday, the Tax Policy Center will host three top political experts who will explain why reform is such a challenge and how backers could overcome its hurdles. It won’t be easy. […]

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