Tax Analysts Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
A lot of pundits think President Obama's just-released uncompromising health care proposal does not have a chance. For example, Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal thinks the proposal is "not . . .much of a basis for a deal." Yes, the politics have not changed. If anything, the wind is blowing...
Monday, February 22, 2010
It is clear the Republicans are taking full advantage of freedom from the responsibility of being in power. From the bleachers they can rail against the mildly unpopular $787 billion stimulus and the wildly unpopular $700 billion bank bailout. Politically this is smart. Economically it is irrespons...
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The lead provision in the Senate jobs bill now being debated is temporary payroll tax relief for employers who hire the unemployed. This proposal (S. 2983) originated with Senate Finance Committee members Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). I criticized this proposal in a prior pos...
Friday, February 12, 2010
"Contrary to Congressional intent." "An unintended loophole." That's what Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, called the use of the alternative fuels tax credit for black liquor--a by-product of the paper pulping process. And tha...
Friday, February 5, 2010
In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal Matthew Slaughter of Dartmouth Business School unloaded a broadside against the proposed $100 billion-plus tax hike on U.S. multinationals (“How to Destroy American Jobs,” February 3, 2010.) Slaughter cites aggregate data from the U.S. Commerce Department as...
Monday, February 1, 2010
All press reports in this morning's papers indicate the President will fall far short of his oft-stated goal of stabilizing the deficit over the long-term at 3 percent of GDP. That's a minimum standard. It is what is required to keep the deficit "sustainable"--that is, to prevent the debt from blow...
Sunday, January 31, 2010
A totally unverifiable report from a not-so-sure source told me that the budget to be released this Monday a.m. will include a proposal to end the favorable U.S. tax treatment for foreign profits generated in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland, Switzerland, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. If true,...
Friday, January 29, 2010
Paul Krugman's column this morning echoes the very sensible economic advice we have heard for decades: "We should combine actions that create jobs now with other actions that reduce deficits later." Unfortunately, because of the 2007-09 financial meltdown, many countries can't wait until later. So...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
In this morning's New York Times Senators Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, put aside their partisan differences and propose a targeted payroll tax cut to spur job creation. At first glance it looks very good: businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for 60 days are exempt...
Monday, January 25, 2010
In case you forgot, this morning's Wall Street Journal reminds us that conservatives favor tough limits on government spending. But no matter how loud they sing this popular tune, it is all just prancing down the path of political least resistance. It is easy to be against government spending in th...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Soon Senator-elect Scott Brown will drive his GMC pickup 450 miles through the Democratic Northeast into the Capitol Beltway and into history. . . From the state of the original Tea Party . . . . From the state that in 2006 pioneered compulsory health insurance coverage for most of its citizens - s...
Friday, January 15, 2010
This morning's papers are buzzing with news that Big Labor is getting five extra years of transition relief from the new tax on Cadillac health plans. That's the unions' payback for their energetic support of Democrats in elections. It's a maneuver no different than business makes when faced with a...
Thursday, January 14, 2010
In times of war governments impose excess profit taxes. Why? The government's extraordinary need during an emergency can make some segments of the population very wealthy. This is morally unacceptable because war requires huge personal and financial sacrifices from most citizens. The financial cris...
Friday, January 8, 2010
Liberal analysts are bellowing loudly for continued fiscal stimulus. Among the most prominent are Nobel laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz. And the Economic Policy Institute has just issued a similarly themed briefing paper. All this is necessary counterpoint to Republicans' ridiculous anti...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
A thoughtful letter in this morning's Washington Post warns citizens to be on guard against politicians selling "green" snake oil. Tax subsidies for energy efficiency are economically inefficient. The alternative approach is a tax on energy--take your pick: gas tax, BTU tax, carbon tax, or cap-and...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As I write this the estate tax is 15 days away from expiring and the Finance Committee Chairman is on the Senate floor pleading for a unanimous consent agreement to avoid the "massive confusion" that will ensue if a temporary extension of the tax is not granted. The Republican leader--holding all t...
Monday, December 14, 2009
Despite all the hullabaloo over the proposed one-time 50 percent tax on bank bonuses, the controversial "supertax" is not the most important feature of the December 9 preview of the UK budget. It's what the report did not say that deserves our attention. In the face of upcoming elections in the sp...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Yesterday's post illustrating the relatively low tax rates paid by the super rich was cross-linked to blogs at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and CNN. Today' post follows up with a look at the huge differences in the composition of income among income classes. All data are for 2007 and...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Because Congress will have months to reject and rework Obama's latest job creation proposals, the details of his speech yesterday don't matter. The central point is that Obama has signaled his willingness to grant Congressional Democrats their fond wish for a jobs bill in 2010. On top of that he wi...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The latest data from the IRS show that as income rises, effective tax rates also rise -- up to a point. The effective income tax rate levels off at 24.1 percent for incomes between $1 million and $1.5 million. For higher incomes the rate declines. For incomes above $10 million the rate is 19.4 perc...