Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Will Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Kill Tax Reform? Hint: You Can’t Kill Something That’s Already Dead

The latest narrative making the rounds in Washington is that President Obama will kill prospects for tax reform in 2015 if he grants legal status to undocumented immigrants though an executive order. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and others claim that this step will so poison the well of trust between Democrats and Republicans that […]

How Did Medical Device Makers Become Poster Children for Obamacare Critics

The push to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices has somehow become a touchstone for GOP efforts to chip away at President Obama’s health care law. But why?  To paraphrase Bogart’s  classic line from Casablanca:  Of all the taxes in all laws in all the world, why did they pick this one? […]

The Day After the 2014 Election: Six Things To Watch In the New GOP Congress

Republicans had a very good day yesterday. But can they translate their ballot-box success into a positive legislative agenda? It won’t be easy but here are six clues: Mitch McConnell: He is a brilliant legislative tactician. We know he’ll use those skills to try to outmaneuver Democratic Leader Harry Reid but will he also use […]

Is There Any Chance Congress Will Pass Business Tax Reform Next Year?

In the run-up to next week’s congressional elections, Republicans are saying that if they win control of the Senate, they will try to pass business tax reform as part of an ambitious “we can get things done” agenda. Is there any possibility that a GOP-controlled Congress could rewrite the business provisions of the tax code? The chances […]

Why Tax Lawyers and Tax Economists Can’t Communicate

Any close observer of the making of tax policy can see it: Lawyers and economists looking at the same issue through entirely different prisms. I’ve been fascinated by how their respective brains work, and why they have so much trouble communicating with one another. It turns out I am not alone. In a newly published […]

Congress Cries Wolf Over Internet Access Taxes

Unable to do anything important before its election season recess, Congress is about to knock down a favorite digital straw man—It will extend for a few months the about-to-expire federal ban on state taxation of Internet access. The federal moratorium, called the Internet Tax Freedom Act, is scheduled to expire on November 1. The House has […]

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started, but it wants someone to co-sign and be on the hook if she misses any payments. She offers to pay […]

CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

Is Treasury About to Curb Tax Inversions on Its Own?

The Treasury Department put out the word that Secretary Jack Lew is considering regulatory curbs on corporate tax inversions, a step that may be intended to increase pressure on Congress to act once it returns from its summer recess in September. The matter of how much authority Treasury has to limit inversions has generated its […]

Does Congress Really Care About the Deficit? Not When It Comes to Vets and Highways.

Next time a lawmaker starts to pontificate about the desperate need to reduce the budget deficit, remind him (or her) about what Congress did just before it left town last week. It passed two bills that are extremely important, but didn’t pay for either of them. And they are likely to add tens of billions […]