Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Government Shutdowns Threaten To Become The New Normal

President Obama must continue to refuse to negotiate policy while the government is shut down. If he does not hold firm on this principle, these mindless and grossly inefficient closures threaten to become the new normal. Real shutdowns—and not just vague threats of closures– could well become a standard part of the annual budget process. […]

Could the GOP Boost Tax Reform By Adding the Idea to the Debt Limit?

House Republicans reportedly are considering several ways to add a framework for tax reform to legislation needed to increase the federal government’s borrowing authority. Could such a rider increase the chances of reform happening in the near future? Sadly, no. Indeed, it is likely to bury a tax code rewrite even more deeply in Washington’s […]

Is Obamacare the GOP’s White Whale?

 “The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them…All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up in the lee of things;…all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all evil…visibly personified …and made practically assailable in Moby Dick” […]

How Washington Will Use the Coming Budget Wars To Duck Hard Choices

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has notified Congress that the U.S. government will reach the limits of its ability to borrow in mid-October.  Lew’s letter sounds the opening notes of the overture to this fall’s fiscal grand opera. Between October 1 and the end of the calendar year, President Obama and Congress will battle over the […]

Obama’s New Corporate Tax Offer is Another Dead End

In a speech today in Chattanooga TN, President Obama made congressional Republicans an offer they could refuse. And they did.  By doing so, Obama may have quashed the last shred of hope that tax reform can happen before the 2014 congressional elections. In what the White House pitched as a new idea, Obama offered to […]

Not All Curbs on Tax Preferences Are Created Equal

Because politicians seem unwilling to confront specific individual tax preferences, it is likely that any broad-based tax reform will be based on across-the-board curbs on deductions, credits, and exclusions. That’s how lawmakers could generate the revenue they need to reduce tax rates and (perhaps) help reduce the deficit without seeming to tackle popular tax subsidies […]

New Study: Tax Subsidies Do Little To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The other day, President Obama proposed a modest and largely aspirational plan to respond to climate change. Unlike some of his past efforts, it did not include new proposals for highly targeted tax subsidies aimed at reducing the use of carbon-based fuels by encouraging “green” energy. The tax breaks were missing in large part because […]

The Joint Committee’s Report on Tax Reform: Must-read for Policy Geeks

If you are a tax geek, or even a normal person who wants to keep up with the ongoing debate over restructuring the tax code, download a copy of the congressional Joint Tax Committee’s Tax Reform Working Group Report. It is 568 pages long, doesn’t have much of a plot, has no character development (unless you […]

A New Way to Address the International Tax Mess

There may be no more vexing challenge in the Revenue Code than the taxation of foreign transactions of multinational companies. Most everyone agrees that the current system is a mess. And corporate tax reform is impossible without addressing international issues. Yet, this corner of the tax law is not only immensely complex but most proposed […]

Will the Retirement of Max Baucus Open the Door to Tax Reform?

It has become conventional wisdom in Washington that the just-announced retirement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) boosts chances for tax reform in the short term. I’m not so sure. The upbeat argument goes like this: By announcing that he will not run for reelection in 2014, Baucus is free from the pressures of […]