Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

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 […]

A Tale of Three Agendas: Obama, Camp, and Ryan

Over the past week, three senior Washington lawmakers released foundational documents that describe both their agendas and their perspectives on government. On one level, they paint vastly different pictures. Yet, a close reading also pinpoints some surprising and important areas of agreement—more perhaps than the players would publicly admit. President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget […]

The Cruel Political Paradox of Deficit Reduction

I was chatting the other day with a fellow budget wonk who noted the cruel paradox of fiscal politics: When the economy is bad, deficits rise and the public support for reducing them grows. Yet a poor economy is the worst possible time to raise taxes and cut spending. By contrast, a period of strong growth […]

Tax Policy is MIA in the State of the Union

When it comes to tax policy, President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was a model of modesty. There was little new. And, while it is always hard to tell what really matters in a speech that included more than 40 separate initiatives, the president showed little enthusiasm for broad-based tax reform. With […]

TheTaxVox 2013 Lump of Coal Award: Wait ‘Til Next Year Edition

Tax Vox proudly announces its seventh annual Lump of Coal Award for the worst tax and fiscal policies of 2013. The year was a curious mix of really bad ideas and dithering. After all, Congress’s finest moment may have been its December budget mini-deal—a decision that effectively ignored every one of the great fiscal questions facing […]

CBO Finds Growing U.S. Income Inequality

Just as President Obama was decrying our nation’s rising income inequality, the Congressional Budget Office provided him with some new ammunition. CBO’s latest report on household income and taxes—which goes only through 2010—shows that the rich have indeed gotten richer. (Full disclosure: In my former life at CBO, I helped assemble these income and tax […]

The Democrats Never-Ending Search for Tax Loophole Closers

Senate Democrats are circulating a list of a dozen tax “loopholes” they’d like to close as part of a budget package. It is unlikely that Republicans will agree to any of them except as part of broad tax reform, but it is worth taking a quick look at a few on their merits. Some represent […]

One Modest Path to a No-Drama Budget Deal

The conventional wisdom is that next January, Congress and President Obama will be in exactly the same place they’ve been for most of the past three weeks—deep in government shutdown mode. The argument: The recent fiscal battles that ended with last night’s short-term deal to reopen the government and reauthorize Treasury borrowing  buys time but […]

The U.S.May Not Default on Friday But Washington Is Still Playing A Dangerous Game

What’s going to happen on October 18 if Congress doesn’t vote to increase the debt limit? Probably nothing. Make no mistake, Washington is still wading in exceedingly treacherous waters as the President and Congress wrestle over a deal to avoid–at least for now—a breach of the nation’s borrowing authority. The government risks financial calamity if […]

Latest House Debt Limit Plan Will Accomplish Nothing

Washington may be about to do what it does best–kick the can down the road. House Republicans have tentatively agreed on a plan to extend the debt limit for about six weeks while keeping the government partially shuttered. Their idea: use the shutdown as a stick to get Democrats to negotiate over “pressing problems,” including more […]