Posts Tagged ‘treasury’

Tax Policy in September: Racing to a Grinding Halt?

Have it your way… unless you’re Burger King. Five Senate Democrats—Illinois’ Dick Durbin, Michigan’s Carl Levin, Rhode Island’s Jack Reed, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown—asked Burger King to not move its legal headquarters to lower-tax Canada. They accused it of trying to avoid paying its fair share for roads and other public services […]

The Amazing [Anti-Inversion] Race

There’s tougher talk from Treasury. Secretary Jack Lew affirmed administrative authority to curb inversions, telling Bloomberg that “If Congress doesn’t act, we have to take the steps we can, which will reduce the economic value of inversions.” There’s more talk on the Hill, too. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden wants to “continue to work […]

Inversions, Loopholes, Taxes and TIFs: What’s a Revenue Service to Do?

Inversions: The waiting is the hardest part. At yesterday’s TPC event Treasury Secretary Jack Lew promised an anti-inversion decision “soon,” but committed to no other details. While everybody agrees corporate inversions are done largely to avoid taxes, does Treasury have the authority to prevent them? If so, should it? New York University’s Sally Katzen, Harvard’s […]

Business Tax Reform: Will Patience Be a Vice?

Treasury speaks on business tax reform at TPC. Tune in this morning. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will address business tax reform and will be followed by a panel discussion on corporate inversions, a US tax avoidance strategy. The panel includes Sally Katzen of the NYU School of Law, TPC’s Steven Rosenthal, John Samuels of General […]

Why the Next Debt Limit Debacle Might be Worse

Congress’s latest flirtation with debt-limit default caused barely a ripple in the financial markets. Rates on short-term Treasuries spiked in early October, before quickly subsiding to more normal levels. The spread between one- and three-year Treasuries temporarily widened, but quickly fell back to a more normal trend. All told, financial markets barely blinked. Unfortunately, the […]

The Fed and America’s Debt

Is the Federal Reserve part of the government? You might think so, but you wouldn’t know it from the way we talk about America’s debt. When it comes to the debt held by the public, for example, the Fed is just a member of the public. That accounting reflects the Fed’s unusual independence from the […]

Uncle Sam’s Trillion-Dollar Portfolio Partly Offsets the Public Debt

When policy folks talk about America’s federal borrowing, their go-to measures are the public debt, currently $12 trillion, and its ratio to gross domestic product, which is approaching 75 percent. Those figures represent the debt that Treasury has sold into public capital markets, pays interest on, and will one day roll over or repay. These […]

Uncle Sam’s Growing Investment Portfolio

The federal government has been borrowing rapidly to finance recent budget deficits. But that’s not the only reason it’s gone deeper into debt. Uncle Sam also borrows to issue loans, build up cash, and make other financial investments. Those financial activities have accounted for an important part of government borrowing in recent years. Since October […]

Does the Tax Reform Act of 1986 Offer Lessons for Future Reform?

As the economic coordinator of the Treasury study that led to Tax Reform Act of 1986, I’ve always found it fascinating to read and listen to stories about the law.   Many seek the linear trend from cause to effect to secondary cause to enactment, as if there was  some logical series of events that made […]

The Day the United States Defaulted on Treasury Bills

Since the day of Alexander Hamilton, the United States has never defaulted on the federal debt. That’s what we budget-watchers always say. It’s a great talking point. One that helps bolster the argument that default should not be an option in Washington’s ongoing debt limit slowdown. There’s just one teensy problem: it isn’t true. As […]