Tag: ‘charitable deduction’

The GOP Debate: Squabbles Over Refundable Credits, Deductions, and Conservatisim

By :: November 11th, 2015

Last night’s GOP presidential debates (here’s a transcript of the main event) highlighted some important tax policy contrasts among the candidates. One thought refundable credits are conservative economic policy while another did not.  Nearly all would preserve deductions for mortgage interest and charitable gifts but one would ditch them. One worried about what his rivals’ […]

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Cap and Trade Plans, Tax Deadlines, and Rate Drops

By :: January 5th, 2015

Washington Governor Jay Inslee proposes a statewide cap and trade program. The Democrat released details of his carbon pollution market program that would give the state’s Department of Ecology authority to set annual goals aimed at reducing emissions to half of 1990 levels. Inslee would extend the state’s sales tax exemption for alternative fuel vehicles, […]

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Taxes, Charitable Gifts, the ACA, and Ineffective Deadlines

By :: December 30th, 2014

Scrambling to make a last-minute charitable donation to beat the New Year’s Eve deadline for a 2014 tax deduction? Take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Why am I going through this craziness now?” Why is an activity that is largely (though not entirely) tax-motivated built around the end of the calendar year rather than […]

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Kudos to Sandy Levin For Speaking Out For Fiscal Responsibility

By :: December 11th, 2014

Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), the senior Democrat  on the House Ways & Means Committee, stood up on the House floor yesterday and urged Congress to refuse to make permanent three special tax breaks for charitable giving unless their $11 billion cost was paid for. Why were his remarks notable? Because Levin was the prime sponsor […]

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A New Look at Who Benefits from Tax Expenditures

By :: December 19th, 2013

Who benefits from the tax credits, deductions and exclusions that have become such an integral part of the modern tax code? Nearly all of us. And that’s why any tax reform that eliminates or scales back many of these preferences in return for lower tax rates is so hard to do. The Tax Policy Center […]

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Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

By :: October 22nd, 2013

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

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A Summer Update on Tax Reform

By :: August 6th, 2013

Over the past week, Washington has been filled with news about tax reform—some reflecting necessary but painful truths and some just bad. In no particular order, here is where reform stands as Congress leaves town for its extended summer vacation: Big rates cuts are very expensive. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that Congress would […]

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The Challenge of Cutting Deductions to Lower Tax Rates

By :: May 28th, 2013

Two interesting new papers from the Congressional Research Service highlight a major challenge faced by any tax reform that reduces itemized deductions to help pay for lower tax rates—lots of middle-income people would lose at least some benefits from scaling back those deductions. It isn’t a new lesson, but it is one that bears repeating. For instance, […]

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Taxes and Paul Ryan’s Budget

By :: March 12th, 2013

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed a controversial  plan to balance the budget in 10 years, entirely by cutting planned spending by $4.6 trillion. While Ryan includes lots of specific spending cuts, his tax agenda is far less clear.    In some respects, the former GOP vice presidential candidate mimics the tactics […]

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What if the Outrage over Excessive Welfare Extended to the Tax Code?

By :: February 26th, 2013

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has created quite a stir with his estimates that every household below the poverty level receives an average of $168-a-day (or about $61,000-a-year) in government welfare. Sessions’ calculations are extremely controversial and overstate the amount of government assistance for those in poverty. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume he’s right. […]

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