Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Parsky Commission has just released its much awaited tax reform report. Governor Schwarzenegger has called (yet another) special session of the legislature in hopes of getting the reform plan, which he says he will sign, enacted before the end of this year. The centerpiece of the commission's p...
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Cloudy, with a chance of meatballs. That's the current box-office hit out of Hollywood. It is also a good forecast for the future of bank regulation in the United States and around the world. On Capitol Hill the intellectually daunting task of designing a shock-proof financial system has been dumbe...
Friday, September 25, 2009
There is a good chance that before lawmakers finish their work this year they will pass a tax bill that temporarily extends dozens of perennially expiring tax provisions. "Extenders" -- as they are called on Capitol Hill -- include the research credit and individual relief from the ever-encroaching...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last year many nations -- most notably, the United Kingdom -- cut rates on their value-added taxes to provide economic stimulus. But as the recession ebbs the clear trend around the world is toward increasing value-added taxes. A partial list of recent actual and imminent VAT rate hikes includes: H...
Monday, September 21, 2009
After the September 27 election Angela Merkel is likely to retain her hold on leadership of the German government. The burning question is whether the Chancellor's conservative CDU party will continue the "grand coalition" with its main rival, the center-left SPD. The other likely possibility is a...
Friday, September 18, 2009
Economists universally endorse limiting the $250 billion of tax benefits provided annually for employer-provided health insurance. The long-awaited plan from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus includes a modest limitation of those benefits. But today we are reading in the New York Times...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The near-death experience of the world's financial markets and the accompanying recession set in motion a worldwide wave of tax hikes. In the U.K. the Labour government wants top income tax rates to rise from 40 to 50 percent. The Conservative Party is expected to win the upcoming election and rais...
Monday, September 14, 2009
The President is pushing financial reform to prevent another market meltdown. The President needs new revenue sources to put federal finances back on a sustainable path. Maybe one day the tax people at Treasury can get together with the financial stability people in the same building and develop a...
Friday, September 11, 2009
Suffering the double whammy of a depression in tourism and financial services, the Cayman Island government is going broke. The initial solution proposed by the Cayman Government was a $372 million emergency loan from local banks. Because Cayman is an "Overseas Territory" of the United Kingdom, suc...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Obama is August. Baucus is September. Obama is still talking about a government option. Baucus has a real plan. Obama is hope. Baucus is pragmatism. The most important document so far in this year's health care debate hit cyberspace yesterday. It is not the text of Obama's super-hyped speech tonigh...
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
G20 finance ministers meeting in London last week agreed to continue developing proposals to the limit the pay of finance executives. And the topic will be on the agenda when their bosses meet in Pittsburgh on Sept 24-25. This a hot button issue that probably gets more air time than it deserves. So...
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Karl Rove’s Wall Street Journal columns often are nothing more than well-informed rants about why conservatives should hate the Obama administration more than they already do. But in today’s installment “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns gives the White House some well...
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
As summer lingers, lobbyists are spending tens of millions to get their healthcare message through to a nation on vacation. And Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus--the senator at the center of the healthcare storm, leader of the only congressional committee seeking bipartisan reform--reports tha...
Monday, August 3, 2009
After getting an earful from the Chinese last week about keeping their $800 billion investment safe and sound, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday made his strongest pitch to-date on the necessity of putting a limit on Uncle Sam's credit card: GEITHNER: . . .it is absolutely right and ve...
Friday, July 31, 2009
The new GDP numbers are out and the preliminary figure for second quarter growth is negative one percent. That's the fourth consecutive negative quarter--the first time that has happened since 1947. The unemployment rate is 9.5 percent and rising. The government is selling record amounts of debt. S...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A fundamental flaw with America’s healthcare system is its tangled relationship with the job market. Lose your job, lose your health care. Really, why should that be the case in a system heavily subsidized by the government? But union-backed Democrats are strongly inclined to perpetuate this flawe...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Fast forward to November: Congress passes a respectable but downsized health care reform financed with spending cuts and a miscellany of revenue hikes. These include new taxes on high-end insurance plans and a modified version of the President’s plan to trim the value of itemized deductions. The H...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Now that Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature have completed another painful round of budget negotiations, lawmakers can give some attention to the work of California's tax reform commission. The most interesting proposal under consideration would replace California's corporate and sales tax...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The first neat thing they teach you in economics school about taxes is that it does not matter if tax is imposed on a buyer or a seller. It all comes out in the wash. For example, suppose apples sell for $10 a bag. If a $1 dollar tax is imposed on sellers, the market price may rise -- depending on...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
In an interview with the Washington Post, President Obama reveals how he wants to lay a "foundation" for deficit reduction "either at the end of this year or early next year." He is looking to reform Social Security first and then move on to a revenue-raising tax reform that lowers tax rates and b...