Who’s Afraid of Income Taxes? New Interactive TPC Tools To Help You Understand the 1040

By :: March 18th, 2015

Need help understanding the 1040 as we enter the homestretch of this year’s tax filing season? The Tax Policy Center has created a new interactive tool to walk you through key parts of the federal income tax, ranging from the mundane to the arcane. In bite-sized pieces, Who’s Afraid of the Form 1040? discusses the main […]

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Spending Cuts, Surpluses and Sales Opportunities

By :: March 18th, 2015

The House GOP Budget: No tax reform details. The House Budget Committee unveiled a budget with $5.5 trillion in spending cuts that promises balance by 2024. Committee Chairman Tom Price is confident the budget will pass the House this week. However, TPC’s Howard Gleckman says there is no chance it will become law. The budget […]

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The House GOP Budget As Can Opener: An Impossible Task and A New Lesson in Dynamic Budget Scoring

By :: March 17th, 2015

Two takeaways from the House Budget Committee’s 2016 fiscal plan: A) It is impossible and B) It is the latest example of the challenges of trying to include macroeconomic effects of tax and spending choices in budget scoring. Let’s start with A.  Like most budget resolutions, this one builds only a broad fiscal framework to […]

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Dynamic Scoring Forum: Inside the Black Box

By :: March 17th, 2015

This is one of a series of TaxVox guest blogs discussing dynamic scoring. Whether dynamic scoring for official revenue estimates is a good or bad idea, it is now a part of scoring rules in the House. As a result, it is more compelling than ever to understand the forces that determine economic effects. Previous […]

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On Budgeting, Patience, and Rube Goldberg

By :: March 17th, 2015

Out today: A first look at GOP budgets. The US hit its debt limit yesterday (at least technically), and the budget battles have begun. The Senate GOP budget resolution  reportedly won’t include detailed plans to overhaul entitlement programs—though the House GOP plan may. The Senate Budget panel version will propose only savings targets for Medicare […]

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Can Rube Goldberg Save the Highway Trust Fund?

By :: March 16th, 2015

In principle, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is simple. Drivers pay a federal gas tax when they purchase fuel, the revenue goes to the HTF, and the federal government sends the dollars to states and local governments for highway and transit programs. But in practice the system is a mess and a new proposal by […]

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Local Tax Threats, Hikes, and Indignities

By :: March 16th, 2015

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Without school pension money from the state, property taxes will jump. Facing a tough runoff in his race for reelection, Emanuel is looking for fiscal help from the state, including from its GOP governor. He wants the state to help fund pensions for Chicago’s teachers as well as make other changes […]

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Raising Taxes to Fuel, Fly, and… Drink?

By :: March 13th, 2015

Have taxes, will travel. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association wants Congress to raise the federal gas tax by 15 cents a gallon to generate $401 billion in new transportation funding. Money for the Highway Trust Fund dries up in May. The group suggests the tax be offset with a federal tax rebate for middle […]

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Dynamic Scoring Forum: Overblown Concerns?

By :: March 12th, 2015

This is one of a series of TaxVox guest blogs discussing dynamic scoring. Macroeconomic scoring, aka dynamic scoring, has been debated for years. For the 114th Congress, the House has adopted a rule to institute the procedure for major bills. But what would dynamic scoring really mean in practice? Why would changing to dynamic scoring […]

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Charting a Course for Tax Reform: Might Feel Familiar, Won’t Be Easy

By :: March 12th, 2015

On the Hill: Taxpayer protection sought, tax reform input needed. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing today on protecting taxpayers from scams during the current tax filing season. Yesterday, panel Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden announced their effort to solicit ideas on how best to reform the tax code to be […]

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