Archive for the ‘Tax Extenders’ Category

Why Most Tax Extenders Should Not Be Permanent

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 […]

Dave Camp’s Plan for the Expired Tax Provisions: An Almost-Good Idea

House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) has a plan for what to do with scores of now-expired tax subsidies that are sitting in Congress’ lap. He wants to review each one on its merits and either make it permanent or (by implication at least) kill it. Camp is on to something, although […]

Fiscal Reality Check: Will Congress Pay for the Tax Extenders and the Doc Fix?

After it returns from Spring Break next week, Congress may face two big fiscal reality checks. It will have to decide whether to temporarily extend scores of expiring tax provisions and what to do about permanently adjusting the formula Medicare uses to pay physicians (the “doc fix”). Combined, these two measures would add about $65 billion to the […]

Incoming Senate Finance Chair Wyden Outlines His Tax Agenda

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), about to become the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Friday that he aims to eventually rewrite what he described as a “dysfunctional, rotting mess of a carcass that we call the tax code.” But in an acknowledgement of the challenges of tax reform, Wyden said he wants to […]

Pay to Extend Unemployment Benefits? Why Not Pay to Extend Temporary Tax Breaks Too?

In the battle over whether to extend long-term unemployment benefits, one of the Republican talking points is: Sure, we’ll consider an extension, but it must be paid for. That’s a fine idea. Here’s another: In exactly the same way, Congress should offset the cost of restoring dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired on Dec. […]

Time To Park The Commuter Tax Subsidy

Am I the only one who thinks today’s commuter tax subsidies are nuts? The issue is in the headlines because at midnight tonight, thanks to yet another dose of congressional inaction, the amount of pre-tax dollars mass transit commuters can put aside will fall from a maximum of $240 a month to $130. At the […]

Whither the Tax Extenders?

In three weeks, more than 60 expiring tax provisions will…expire. At least for a while. It isn’t unusual for these mostly-business tax breaks to temporarily disappear, only to come back from the dead a few months after their technical expiration. But this time businesses are more nervous than usual. Their problem: Congress may have few […]

Can Expiring Tax Provisions Save the Budget Talks?

There is lots of buzz around Washington about whether a laundry list of expiring tax provisions could be the key to a modest budget agreement. Sadly, it is hard to see how.   The theory goes like this: Democrats might agree to some cuts in programs such as Medicare if Republicans swallow some new revenues. […]

Congress Kicks the Fiscal Can off the Front Stoop

In the end, it looks like Congress isn’t even going to kick the fiscal can down the road. Assuming the House passes the deal agreed to by the Senate on New Year’s Eve, lawmakers will barely get that battered tin container it off the front stoop. The agreement preserves nearly all of the 2001-2010 tax […]

How Washington Can Turn a Tax Increase into a Tax Cut by Leaping Off the Fiscal Cliff

In the strange alchemy of Washington, Congress can magically turn a tax increase into a tax cut.  And to make it happen, all it has to do is…nothing.      Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) told an audience at the Brookings Institution that she would prefer to let the government tumble over the fiscal cliff at […]