Tax Analysts Blog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Will wonders never cease. After ignoring moral and economic imperaives for the better part of a decade, policymakers are finally talking about a war tax. New legislation proposed by Rep. David Obey, D-Wisc., would impose a modest, graduated surtax to help fund the war in Afghanistan. Obey offered a...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering a Medicare tax hike to help pay for health care reform. More specifically, he wants to raise taxes on rich workers to subsidize health care for the rest of us. And Americans love the idea (at least in general terms). Of course they do. Doesn't everyo...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, the blogosphere saw a flurry of indignation over the notion of "death taxes." Here at tax.com, Chris Bergin chastised Rep. Sam Graves for his insistence that "death should not be a taxable event." Elsewhere, Brad DeLong, Stan Collender, and Linda Beale also took aim at this...
Friday, October 23, 2009
Norwegian tax authorities released their annual tax list this week, outlining the income and total wealth of nearly every taxpayer in the country. According to the Associated Press, the data has been released annually for many years. In 2004, a conservative government briefly banned the practice, b...
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Law professor Dennis Ventry has accused Intuit of trying to kill ReadyReturn, California's free, state-provided service that simplifies filing by giving taxpayers a completed version of their state tax return (using information already in the state's possession). The Tax Foundation has jumped to In...
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The United States has been fighting its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for a long, long, long time. But after eight years, American political leaders still haven't leveled with the American public about the staggering financial cost of these wars. Sure, from time to time, Congress debates special war...
Monday, September 28, 2009
Watch out, fat cats: populists and lipophobes are on the march. Americans want to tax your incomes and your waistlines. In a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, respondents were asked the following question: If the Obama administration proposed a tax of 50 percent or higher on the incomes of the we...
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I have a certain fascination with tax fads. You know what I mean -- those odd, improbable, and sometimes appealing tax ideas that capture the public imagination from time to time. But seriously: this soda tax has got to go away. It was fun for a while, even intriguing. But it's a bad tax -- regress...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Bruce Bartlett, now blogging at Capital Gains and Games, thinks the healthcare debate suffers from a lack of thoughtful, dispassionate, expert advice. Sure, the Capitol echoes with the opinions of healthcare experts, self-appointed and otherwise. But the Obama administration has failed to provide a...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There's a lot to like about Charlie Rangel. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he's been principled without being doctrinaire, progressive but not polemical. In recent years, he's also been the voice of relative reason in a political arena shot through with partisan claptrap. His sc...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Recent efforts to curb executive pay, especially on Wall Street, are facing predictable problems. But the return of the guaranteed bonus is just one of many pitfalls. As lawmakers have discovered in the past, regulation designed to cap compensation are prone to failure. Matthew Yglesias explains wh...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Gregory Clark, an economist at UC-Davis, has peered into the future, and he's not happy: In the next chapter, abundance beckons -- for some. Advances in technology drive economic growth, and there is no sign that they are slackening. The American economy is likely to continue unabated on the upward...
Friday, July 24, 2009
I'm no fan of the surtax, chiefly because I think it threatens the long-term viability of healthcare reform. If people aren't willing to pay for reform, then they won't defend it when things get ugly. (And they will get ugly, especially when Democrats eventually lose their lopsided majorities.) But...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Consider the comments of an eminent economist: Over the past half-century or more there has developed in this country a fairly elaborate structure of federal and state business taxes. This structure, as it is now constituted, is generally recognized to be singularly devoid of any plan and to be inc...
Friday, July 10, 2009
It was always going to come down to the money. Democrats have spent months hashing out the details of healthcare reform, but they left the worst for last: how to pay for the damn thing. Sure, they floated a few trial balloons. President Obama even offered some plausible suggestions. But as a group,...
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
House members are considering a surtax on rich people to finance healthcare for the rest of us, according to Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer. The tax would be similar to, yet much smaller than, a surtax proposed in 2007 by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, a person familiar with the commi...
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sometimes, politics can make for incoherent policy. Economist Tyler Cowen makes that point while mulling the healthcare debate: First, the idea of an employer mandate for healthcare is a tax on hiring labor in a time when, if anything, the hiring of labor should be subsidized. On top of that is th...
Monday, June 29, 2009
Over the weekend, President Obama opened the door to a new tax on employer-provided health benefits. Speaking on ABC's "This Week," his chief political adviser, David Axelrod, acknowledged that such a tax would violate Obama's promise to avoid new levies on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year....
Monday, June 22, 2009
Robert Reich reminds President Obama to stand firm on taxing the rich: Demand that taxes be raised on the wealthy to ensure that all Americans get affordable health care. At the rate health care costs are rising, not even a real public option will hold down costs enough to make health care affordab...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
For an idea routinely dismissed as a political nonstarter (most recently by me), the value-added tax sure gets a lot of press. In recent weeks, we've seen articles by VAT fans (like Bruce Bartlett here), VAT foes (like Dan Mitchell and Chris Bergin), and an army of VAT skeptics (Ezra Klein, Tyler C...