Tax Analysts Blog

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Two years ago, Congress raised taxes on almost every working American – and nobody cared. In fact, a lot of people didn't even notice. That tells us something important about the way Americans view taxes. But it also tells us something important about how we collect them. In 2011 and 2012, Congre...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
We ask a lot of the gas tax. We expect it to build new roads, keep our bridges from falling down, and fund a variety of public transit projects. As if that weren't enough, we also want it to clean up the world, discourage fuel consumption, and curb air pollution. All these goals are related, of co...
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, thinks tax reform is “in the realm of doable” over the next two years. That sort of upbeat assessment should be encouraging -- especially coming from the speaker of the House. But it's hard to take Boehner seriously when his GOP colleagues don't. “Tax reform's on...
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Sen. Bernard Sanders wants to rein in the runaway billionaires. In a recent piece for The Huffington Post, the Vermont independent (and apparent presidential candidate) made the case for a progressive estate tax. “Unless we reduce skyrocketing wealth and income inequality,” he declared, “unless...
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Corporate inversions are a hot topic these days. Every time another U.S. company announces plans to relocate its headquarters overseas, politicians shake their heads and promise action. But the inversion wave has produced more than earnest intentions and (so far) empty promises. It's also sparked...
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I'm no fan of anti-obesity taxes, whether they target soda, candy bars, or any other junk food. They are regressive and arbitrary, not to mention paternalistic and condescending. Supporters have all sorts of genuine good intentions. But ultimately, these taxes are simply an unfair money grab dress...
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Burger King is going to have it Tim Hortons' way, and Warren Buffett will be their server today – or at least their financier. The Burger King deal seems to be one part tax inversion and one part market diversification, but critics have focused mostly on the former. With the combined company movi...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
When does a rebel movement become a state? Scholars have been wrestling with that question for decades, but it's not just an academic exercise. Thanks to the rapid advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now rebranded as the Islamic State, state creation is an urgent matter of nati...
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Last week, a federal appeals court put another nail in the coffin of the origination clause. For those not up to date on legal anachronisms, that's the section of the Constitution requiring that “all Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” In theory, the origi...
Friday, July 25, 2014
It's popular, in some circles, to suggest eliminating the corporate income tax. Usually, the argument flows from worries about American competitiveness. Eliminate the corporate tax, and corporations around the world will flock to our shores. Or so the story goes. In fact, it went that way recently...
Friday, July 18, 2014
Nick Hanauer is a rich guy with a conscience. Over the last few years, he's become the poster boy for plutocratic guilt, urging his fellow 1 percenters to get serious about surging inequality. In particular, he's been a champion for raising taxes on the rich and boosting wages for the working poo...
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
How many times does the soda tax have to fail before liberals finally give up on it? To be fair, some people actually like this tax. But that group just doesn't seem to include many voters. Attempts to impose a special “sin tax” on sugary drinks have failed in states and localities across the na...
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The corporate income tax is dying. Which is hardly surprising, since it's getting on in years. It's a 19thcentury levy struggling to hang on in a 21stcentury economy. And the prognosis is bad. The numbers show a tax in decline. Over the past six decades, the corporate levy has played a shrinking...
Friday, June 13, 2014
College is hopelessly unaffordable. Only the very wealthy can manage to pay full freight at high-prestige private universities, and even less exalted institutions bleed their students dry. Sure, financial aid provides some help. But the bottom-line cost is still extraordinary, leaving many students...
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Democrats often bristle at the suggestion that they support nanny-state policies. And with good reason, given the GOP tendency to equate any sort of social policy with overbearing big government. But if Democrats don't want to be slandered, they should stop making it so easy. The Tax Foundation rec...
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Congress figured out 140 years ago that privatized tax collection was a bad idea. Bad ideas are like bad pennies -- they keep turning up. That's especially true in Washington, where lawmakers cling to terrible ideas even after they've failed repeatedly. Congress is now pondering an especially bad...
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Former President George H.W. Bush is famous for many things, including (in no particular order) his pedigree, diplomacy, and a well-established aversion to broccoli. But he's also remembered – and sometimes pilloried – for his fiscal policy. Earlier this month, the John F. Kennedy Presidential L...
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
In his new and unlikely bestseller, French economist Thomas Piketty describes the rise of "arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities" that pose a threat to democratic institutions around the globe. He also lays out a plan for curbing those inequalities with a global wealth tax. It's a remarkable and...
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
There is something awesomely brazen about airlines calling for “transparent” fare pricing after they've pioneered opacity in their own pricing structures. It was airlines, after all, that rescued themselves from financial disaster by “unbundling” fares and charging consumers for “extras” lik...
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Former presidents do pretty well for themselves. They get a pension of almost $200,000 a year, plus hundreds of thousands more for office and administrative support. All in all, not a bad gig. But the life of a former president wasn't always so cushy. Until 1959, retiring chief executives got prec...