Posts Tagged ‘deficit commission’

The Bowles-Simpson and Romney Tax Plans Have Almost Nothing in Common

In the recent contretemps over Mitt Romney’s tax plan, some Romney partisans have asserted that the Massachusetts governor’s revenue plank mimics the tax elements of the deficit reduction plan proposed in 2010 by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the chairs of President Obama’s deficit fiscal commission. This claim is absurd. These two proposals could hardly be […]

Bowles-Simpson Budget Reform and Ecstatic Memory

Have you noticed that as the details of the tough budget reform proposed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles fade into memory, more politicians are embracing the plan developed by the chairs of the 2010 White House fiscal commission? Oh, they don’t love the real plan—barely any elected official had a kind word to say […]

The Tax Vox 2011 Lump of Coal Award: Kicking the Can Edition

Welcome to Tax Vox’s fifth annual Lump of Coal Award recognizing 2011’s ten worst moments in fiscal policy. It is hard to imagine so much ugliness crammed into a mere 12 months. But after much thought and debate, the winners are: 10. The rating agency Standard & Poor’s for downgrading U.S. debt based upon a […]

What the Stock Market Plunge Means for a Deficit Agreement

In some parallel universe, Congress and President Obama would respond to the stock market tumble, the S&P ratings downgrade, and growing public disgust at their toxic inaction on fiscal policy in a simple way: They’d agree on the broad deficit reduction plan they could not settle on last month. The plan would include some short-term […]

John Boehner’s Moment of Truth

In July 2000, under immense pressure from President Clinton, the Israeli government made Yasser Arafat a remarkable offer: It would recognize a Palestinian state that included Gaza, more than 90 percent of the West Bank, and a big chunk of Jerusalem.  But Arafat, who had worked all his life to create a Palestinian nation, walked away […]

Should Congress Cut the Deficit By Changing the Way it Indexes Taxes for Inflation?

Should Congress use a new measure of inflation to index the tax code? It sounds awfully technical—and it is—but shifting to what most economists believe is a more accurate measure of inflation would gradually raise a substantial amount of new revenue for politicians scrambling to find ways to cut the deficit. The idea has surfaced […]

Six Think Tanks Tackle the Budget Deficit

Today, at the request of the Peterson Foundation, an ideologically diverse group of six think tanks proposed their long-term solutions to the federal deficit problem. Not surprisingly, they disagreed on most details. But the project reflected surprising consensus (though hardly unanimity) on a some big issues. Most important, four of the six aimed to hold federal spending two […]

Why I Hate Budget Caps

I hate budget caps. They are arbitrary and beg to be gamed. It is irresponsible to make one that is absolutely unbreakable, even in the face of an economic depression or other national catastrophe. Yet even the most well-intended exception will open the door to wholesale abuse. Caps–and the triggers needed to enforce them– are […]

Obama, Ryan, and the Parameters of the Budget Debate

Imagine for a moment you walk into a dealership to buy the vehicle of your dreams. The salesman asks what you want to pay. You say $50. He counters with $50,000. The good news is you have begun a negotiation. The bad news is, you’ve got a lot of talking to do before you can drive […]

Should We Cut Corporate Taxes By Raising Rates on Investors?

While there seems to be growing agreement in Washington that the U.S. needs to cut its tax rate on corporations, there is (surprise) no consensus at all on how to pay for this. One way: Raise taxes on capital gains and dividends.    This idea was one element of the broad tax reforms proposed last year by the chairs of […]