Tax Analysts Blog

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...
Monday, July 20, 2009
Fresh mint juleps in frosted glasses should be on hand today when the nation's governors finish their meetings in Biloxi. Imagine four summer days in Mississippi and nothing but trading stories about budget problems. And to make matters worse, Congress could soon be adding to their troubles with an...
Friday, July 17, 2009
He's skinny, wears professor glasses, and looks like the guy in high school all the bullies hated because they knew someday he'd be their boss. But don't mess with Douglas Elmendorf. He's one tough son of a bitch. Bloomberg and the New York Times report that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Ma...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The $544 billion tax rate hike on high-income taxpayers proposed by Rangel & Co. won't be part of any healthcare bill that passes this Congress. Think of the move as an opening bid in a long negotiation. Conservative House Democrats will never stick their heads out to vote for rate hikes unless the...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The deficit smashed through the trillion-dollar barrier this week on its way to a projected total of $1.825 trillion for the 2009 federal fiscal year ending September 30. As the Chicago Tribune points out: "A deluge of debt, looming on the horizon, threatens to wreak frightful damage on our econom...
Monday, July 13, 2009
On caffeine and adrenaline, the White House staff is working 24-7 to keep the ambitious Obama agenda alive. Actor-economist Ben Stein worries this may not make sense: "We have an administration that is simultaneously seeking to end the recession, discussing drastic changes to laws on foreclosures a...
Monday, July 6, 2009
The healthcare reform coaster is clacking to the top before its first big drop. Here we go for five weeks until the August congressional recess. It's an ego-trip for Democratic leaders who have dreams of making history. It's a gravy-train joy ride for lobbyists cashing in on old friendships. It's a...
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It was only last fall that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke uttered those terrifying words to congressional leaders, warning them of what would happen if they failed to take radical steps to support the financial sector. Most of the world is still reeling from the Great Panic of 2008. The U.K. is bracing...
Monday, June 29, 2009
An 80 percent tax on short term capital gains! Sounds like the liberals are taking over, doesn't it? But this radical proposal was not offered by Ralph Nader or MoveOn.org. It came from a former CEO of one of the nation's largest and most prestigious corporations. On June 25 Bloomberg reported that...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The just-released Congressional Budget Office "Long-Term Budget Outlook" is a document of major historical significance. It's 82 pages long but the cover says it all (as shown below). Disregard the lower dashed line portraying the official -- but meaningless -- baseline scenario. The top line shows...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It was scary enough in 2008. After declaring a fiscal emergency in January it took until September for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature to agree on a budget closing the state's deficit -- a record three months after the beginning of the fiscal year that began in J...
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In the good old days (i.e., before 2008) the business tax game was simple: well-advised and well-represented corporations kept their taxes low through a combination of tax planning and technical lobbying of regulations and statutes. Countering these movements, liberals would score occasional victor...
Monday, June 22, 2009
Public opinion polls and bookmakers' odds all point to the Conservative Party being swept into power in the next British election -- most likely to occur in May of 2010. That's a striking contrast to the U.S. where President Obama has made liberalism cool again. Thoroughly uncool Gordon Brown will...
Friday, June 19, 2009
California's budget crisis is reaching epic proportions. Sacramento is in turmoil. And, unfortunately, the tenor of the debate has not progressed beyond that of a schoolyard shouting match. Conservatives blame excess spending on unions, immigrants, and bloated bureaucracy, while Democrats complain...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
It's not about providing health insurance to America's 47 million uninsured. It's about restoring the nation to long-term fiscal health. That's the way the White House is packaging its effort to reform heathcare. Veteran New York Times reporters Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear spell this out for us i...
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Bay State's pioneering healthcare program -- signed into law in 2006 by then-Governor Mitt Romney -- gives us a real world preview of what the Obama healthcare plan might look like. There is a healthcare exchange (called the "Health Connector") that facilitates the purchase of insurance by indi...
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tax Analysts is having a roundtable discussion this Friday morning at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on President Obama’s international tax proposals. It looks like it will be well attended, and there has been a last minute change to a larger conference room to accommodate the larger-t...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Even though proposed healthcare reforms fall far short of achieving universal coverage, and even though nebulous cost savings are being used to offset projected costs, Congress will still need new sources of revenue to finance its ambitious healthcare reforms--in the neighborhood of $300 billion o...
Monday, June 8, 2009
Forget Sotomayor. Forget global warming. Forget the rising public debt. Even forget the recession. For at least the next two months, healthcare reform will dominate U.S. national politics. "Obama has told Congressional leaders that his top priority is to get a health care bill signed into law," rep...
Friday, June 5, 2009
I lost it yesterday. Rationality went out the window. My long-repressed populist streak was exposed. What got my blood boiling was the report by Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was threatening to move jobs offshore if Obama's international tax proposals became law. “We’...