Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

How Washington Will Use the Coming Budget Wars To Duck Hard Choices

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has notified Congress that the U.S. government will reach the limits of its ability to borrow in mid-October.  Lew’s letter sounds the opening notes of the overture to this fall’s fiscal grand opera. Between October 1 and the end of the calendar year, President Obama and Congress will battle over the […]

Uncle Sam Is Smaller (Relatively) Than We Thought

At 8:30 this morning, Uncle Sam suddenly shrunk. Federal spending fell from 21.5 percent of gross domestic product to 20.8 percent, while taxes declined from 17.5 percent to 16.9 percent. To be clear, the government is spending and collecting just as much as it did yesterday. But we now know that the U.S. economy is […]

Why the Tax Cuts in the Senate Budget Don’t Add up

The Senate Democrats’ budget, like the House version, rips unfair and inefficient tax preferences that litter the revenue code. But the tax provisions of the Senate budget, which is being debated on the floor today, raise at least two big problems: They see flaws in only in those tax expenditures that benefit high-income households and big […]

A Carbon Tax is a Win-Win for the Economy and the Environment

Looking for a way to improve the operation of the economy, lower our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, slow global warming, cut government spending, and decrease the long-term budget deficit? Then you should support a carbon tax, which could help the nation address all these issues simultaneously. A new paper I’ve written with Samuel […]

Build America Bonds, the Medicaid Expansion, and Trust Between the States and the Feds

States trying to decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income uninsured might want to take a look at the fate of a more obscure federal program—cash subsidies to state and local governments that sell certain kinds of bonds, especially Build America  Bonds. If they do, they’ll see what happens to a […]

The Sequester is Not Too Big, It is Too Stupid

The latest chapter in Washington’s never-ending fiscal drama is about to play out in tomorrow’s sequester–a word most Americans should never have had to learn. For all the partisan noise about these automatic spending cuts, it is important to keep in mind that they are both relatively small and very stupid. First, the size. As the […]

How Obama’s Inaugural Address Frames the Policy Debate for the Next Decade

 “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” With those words in his 2nd inaugural address, […]

2013 May Be the Year of Perpetual Fiscal Crisis

If 2012 was the year of modest economic recovery and surprising Democratic election success, 2013 may be the year of perpetual fiscal policy crisis. After watching the still-unresolved partisan battle over the fiscal cliff, it is increasingly hard to imagine Congress and President Obama reaching anything like a big budget deal next year. Instead, it […]

Give Now or Pay Later: The Ever-Changing Estate and Gift Tax

For over a decade, the federal estate and gift tax has been in constant flux with its exemption rising, its rates falling, and its near-death experience in 2010 followed by resurrection in a reduced state. Now Congress once again has to decide what to do about these levies, which affect relatively few taxpayers but get an […]

Understanding TPC’s Analysis of Limiting Deductions

The Tax Policy Center’s new tables showing the revenue and distributional effects of capping itemized deductions have received a great deal of attention since we released them on Tuesday. Our results show that capping deductions can raise a large amount of revenue in a quite progressive manner. Capping deductions could thus be an important component […]