Tag: ‘tax reform’

Obama's Failure to Kill 529 Plans May Say Less About Tax Reform Than You Think

By :: January 30th, 2015

After President Obama proposed, and rapidly abandoned, a plan to curb the tax advantages of Sec. 529 college savings accounts, several wise observers, including my friend David Wessel at Brookings, saw an object lesson for broad-based tax reform. To wit: If lawmakers can’t ditch a single $1 billion tax break, how could they possibly agree to […]

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Is Obama Closing Retirement Savings Loopholes or Just Curbing Congress’ Generosity?

By :: January 28th, 2015

In his upcoming budget, President Obama will propose to strip away the “loopholes” that permit wealthy individuals to accumulate large amounts in tax-favored retirement plans. He would prohibit a taxpayer from contributing any more to IRAs or other qualified retirement plans once his or her accounts reach a combined value of $3.4 million. For sure, […]

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Is Dynamic Scoring of Tax Bills Ready For Prime Time?

By :: January 26th, 2015

The House has instructed the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office to factor in the macroeconomic effects of tax law changes when calculating the official budget score of revenue bills. But are existing models up to the task of what’s commonly called dynamic scoring? A group of experts assembled today by the […]

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A Look at the Territorial Tax Systems in Four Countries Finds No Magic Bullets

By :: January 22nd, 2015

It is an article of faith among many tax reformers that the U.S. should shift from a worldwide tax system to a territorial regime in which U.S.-based multinational corporations pay U.S. tax only on their domestic income.  Such a step would reduce or eliminate tax on the dividends these firms receive from their foreign affiliates. […]

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Taxing the Rich: It’s a Plan Abroad, Too

By :: January 21st, 2015

The State of the Union: Tax reform depends on where you are sitting. In his State of the Union Address last night, President Obama called on Congress to address wealth inequality through the tax code, largely by increasing the capital gains tax and imposing a bank tax to fund tax relief for middle-income earners. Senate […]

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The Tax Reform Gap Between Obama and the GOP is Widening

By :: January 20th, 2015

In his state of the union address, President Obama laid out his vision for the tax code. Earlier in the day, in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce, Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) described his. They are not only on different planets. They inhabit different galaxies. Obama wants to raise capital gains […]

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What To Make of the Senate Finance Committee’s Tax Reform Workgroups

By :: January 15th, 2015

The Senate Finance Committee has created five bipartisan working groups to develop ideas for comprehensive tax reform by the end of May.  It is a good idea. But it is unlikely to accelerate the panel’s timetable for producing legislation. The task forces won’t develop many new ideas. Let’s be honest: For the most part, when it […]

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House GOP Leadership Would Require Dynamic Scoring of Some Tax Bills. Will It Matter?

By :: December 24th, 2014

Last night, the House Republican leadership proposed new rules that would require the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office to incorporate macroeconomic effects of “major” legislation into their official budget estimates. But there may be less to these new rules for so-called “dynamic scoring” than meets the eye. The GOP did not […]

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Tax Policy in 2014: Two Developments That May Set The Table For the Future

By :: December 22nd, 2014

At first glance, 2014 seemed like a tax policy wasteland, but two developments may have set the stage for important future initiatives.  A wave of tax-driven corporate inversions showed one reason why tax reform is necessary.  A detailed plan by House Ways & Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) showed how tax reform could be […]

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Magical Thinking on Tax Reform

By :: December 18th, 2014

Everybody loves the idea of tax reform. And tax reform can be very good policy. But advocates often turn to magical thinking about how good tax reform can be, and a recent column by George Will offers two examples of this problem. First, Will writes that “if America’s long-term economic growth [rate] were 3.5 percent, […]

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