Posts Tagged ‘budget’

The Fed and America’s Debt

Is the Federal Reserve part of the government? You might think so, but you wouldn’t know it from the way we talk about America’s debt. When it comes to the debt held by the public, for example, the Fed is just a member of the public. That accounting reflects the Fed’s unusual independence from the […]

Are Low Interest Rates Masking Future Deficits?

Thanks to artificially low interest rates, the United States has been able to finance deficits exceeding $1 trillion every year from 2009 through 2012 at very low cost. Throughout the period, the ratio of interest to the GDP has remained almost stable and is not expected to start rising until 2015. Some argue that this […]

Smart Tax Reform Could Shrink the Government

Max Baucus and Dave Camp, leaders of the Senate and House tax-writing committees, are on the road promoting tax simplification. One goal: cleaning out the mess of deductions, exclusions, credits, and other tax breaks that complicate the code. Done well, such house cleaning could make for a simpler, fairer, more pro-growth tax code. It could […]

Tax Reform Bumps Into More Political Reality

If Congress is going to reform the tax code, it will take an enormous amount of hard work and a lot of luck. The stars, as they say, will have to align. Unfortunately, those galactic bodies seem to be getting more and more disarranged. Reform just can’t catch a break. The deficit is shrinking, taking away […]

Immigration, Dynamic Scoring, and CBO

Immigration policy poses an unusual challenge for the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. If Congress allows more people into the United States, our population, labor force, and economy will all get bigger. But CBO and JCT usually hold employment, gross domestic product (GDP), and other macroeconomic variables constant when making their […]

High Income Households Would Pay Most—But Not All—of the New Taxes in Obama’s 2014 Budget

The revenue proposals included in President Obama’s 2014 budget would, as intended, significantly raise taxes on the highest-income American households. However, despite Obama’s long-standing pledge to protect individuals making below $200,000 (and couples making $250,000 or less) from any tax hikes, even many of those families would pay slightly more than under today’s tax law. […]

The President’s Plan to Cap Retirement Saving Benefits

The president’s FY 2014 Budget would limit tax benefits for workers with high-balance retirement saving accounts. Although critics call the plan a blow to workers’ retirement saving, I consider the plan a smart way to roll back the billions in tax breaks that go to investors who don’t need tax incentives to save for retirement. […]

Taxing Millionaires: Obama’s Buffett Rule

From the start of his 2008 campaign, President Obama has called for raising taxes on the rich. He got much but not all that he wanted in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) earlier this year. Now his FY2014 budget takes another couple of bites at that apple. The first repeats his proposal to cap […]

The Real 2014 Budget Battle May Be Over Spending, Not Taxes

President Obama’s 2014 budget arrived two months late and was declared DOA by the House GOP leadership days before they even saw it. Yet, it is full of items of interest, including a new millionaire tax and a renewed proposal to limit the value of tax preferences for high income households. But what about the […]

An Opportunity to Really Fix Social Security

The White House has put out the word that President Obama’s budget will propose changing the way government adjusts benefits for Social Security and other programs (as well as the income tax). Liberal Social Security advocates are furious. By shifting to a measure called the chained Consumer Price Index, the retirement system would boost benefits […]