Tag: ‘Congress’

Would Speaker Ryan Boost the Chances for Tax Reform? Not Until 2018

By :: October 29th, 2015

Paul Ryan has been an enthusiastic supporter of tax reform for years. Will his elevation to House Speaker make reform more likely? Perhaps, but not any time soon. Reform efforts got two big boosts this week. The first was the GOPs decision to choose Ryan to lead the House. The second was outgoing Speaker John […]

Read More

The Debt Limit: Here We Go Again

By :: October 15th, 2015

In less than a month—and in perhaps as little as 18 days– the federal government will be unable to pay its bills. Realistically, there is only one way to avoid such a fiscal mess: Congress must raise the federal debt limit so Treasury can borrow more money. But how will that happen? On one hand, […]

Read More

Why Dump the Cadillac Tax?

By :: October 8th, 2015

Economists love the Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac tax, the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health insurance plans. Well, maybe not love. But they do like it a lot. In contrast, unions, Republicans, and even Hillary Clinton want to dump the tax. Why? Pretty much for the same reason economists support it: By raising the […]

Read More

Five Tax Stories To Watch in What Will Be a Wild Fall in Congress and on the Campaign Trail

By :: September 8th, 2015

Congress is back. Fiscal deadlines loom. Presidential candidates have tax plans to propose. It isn’t clear how much lawmakers will accomplish in the next four months, but it will be a busy and interesting fall. Here are five stories to watch: International Tax Reform: House Republicans insist they want to try to rewrite the tax […]

Read More

How Will Congress Fund Roads and Transit?

By :: July 7th, 2015

In 24 days, federal spending authority under the highway trust fund comes to an end. Without legislation to keep the program going and money to finance it, road projects will slow in the midst of high construction season. And where are Congress and the White House on this perennial issue? Nowhere. In late June, after […]

Read More

While Washington’s Efforts to Fund Roads Go Nowhere, Red States Are Raising Gas Taxes

By :: June 11th, 2015

In about six weeks, federal money to keep the Highway Trust Fund going will once again dry up and Congress will begin its predictable scramble to keep cash flowing to roads, bridges, and transit projects. The reason for the gridlock: Neither Congress nor President Obama is willing to back a gas tax sufficient to fund the program, and […]

Read More

Obama-Era Tax Reform: RIP

By :: June 8th, 2015

If you still thought there was any chance Congress would pass tax reform before the next election, you can officially abandon hope. In an online interview published Sunday on Morning Consult, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hammered the last nail in the coffin. Asked about his priorities for the rest of the year, McConnell replied, “We’re […]

Read More

Congress Has Not Passed A 2016 Budget. It Has Only Begun The Process.

By :: May 7th, 2015

Headline in this morning’s Washington Post:  “In a Slog Forward, Congress Passes Budget.” I’ll leave it to others to parse what a slog forward is, but rest assured Congress has not passed a budget. Congressional Republicans, with no support from Democrats, have approved a budget resolution. But that document is merely a non-binding fiscal framework, […]

Read More

Is a Consumption Tax Talk Making a Comeback?

By :: March 31st, 2015

Maybe it’s just because Congress is on spring break and tax wonks don’t have much to talk about, but suddenly the idea of a consumption tax is getting a new look. The tax plan proposed earlier this month by senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) is one form of the levy. And tax […]

Read More

The Medicare “Doc Fix” That Isn’t

By :: March 26th, 2015

As you listen to House Democrats and Republicans sing kumbaya  over their bipartisan agreement to fix the Medicare physician payment system, keep one thing in mind: The doc fix doesn’t fix much, and what it does repair likely will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt in coming years. The bill would accomplish one […]

Read More