Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Shell-shocked by a recession that dealt a near death blow, the world’s economic leaders are puzzled about what to do next. To date, fiscal and monetary policy has been "on steroids." But everybody knows the economy can’t be artificially propped up forever. As Martin Wolf reminded us in today’s F...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
For normal people who don't sleep with the IRS Code under their pillow, here's an easy-to-understand explanation of the Great International Tax Debate currently raging between the Obama administration and U.S. multinationals. The Obama administration wants to raise taxes on foreign operations of U....
Monday, June 1, 2009
Everything you need to know about financing healthcare is in the Maya MacGuineas op-ed ("Health Reform's Savings Myth") in Sunday's Washington Post. In plain English she details why Obama's healthcare reform is going to cost the government a lot of money even though advocates of reform keep telling...
Friday, May 29, 2009
High anxiety kept bond traders on their toes on Wednesday and Thursday as yields on government bonds continued their climb. The Financial Times reports that when Treasury Secretary Geithner goes to China next week he will reassure that nation's leaders that the U.S. is committed to long-term fiscal...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery does a good job of summarizing the current prospects for a U.S. value added tax: we could sure use one to pay for healthcare and/or to reduce the deficit. But the chances of the U.S. adopting a VAT anytime soon are slim. Yes, there is rising interest in the...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Fulfilling his campaign promise, President Obama's budget included a cap-and-trade program where polluters would have to buy permits initially auctioned by the government. He would use the auction proceeds for low-income tax cuts in the form of an extension of the "Make Work Pay" tax credit. A cap-...
Friday, May 22, 2009
London markets took a beating Thursday (stocks down 2.7%) when Standard & Poor's issued a warning that the U.K. government's AAA bond rating could be in jeopardy in the future. The reason for S&P's new outlook: the British government's spiraling debt. The country's net debt as a percentage of GDP...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Economists always argue that the best way to cut fuel consumption is to hike the gas tax. For example, a recent paper by an economist at the University of California at San Diego found that increased gasoline taxes would decrease consumption for about one-sixth the economic cost of a corresponding...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Senate Finance Committee has released a list of possible ways to raise taxes to pay for part of Obama's health plan. It is anybody's guess if Congress will be able to agree on any of these. Failure to raise the necessary money would mean Obama's "down payment" on healthcare reform is down the t...
Monday, May 18, 2009
America's debt is out-of-control, and the bad news keeps trickling in. Last week started with the Obama administration releasing new budget projections showing that the federal debt is equal to 70 percent of GDP in 2019 (instead of 67 percent as projected in February). And new reports forecast tha...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In its noble effort to expand health insurance, Congress is considering the silly idea of taxing "sugary beverages." Yes, we all know soda pop is bad for your teeth, your waistline, and the paint on your car. But that doesn't mean taxing the evil liquid is such a hot idea. On May 12 the Wall Stree...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The scary Obama budget just got scarier. In February the Administration told us government debt as a percentage of gross domestic would grow from 41 percent in 2008 to 67 percent in 2019. The new projections released on May 11 put the figure at 70 percent in 2019. That’s bad, but it will even be w...
Monday, May 11, 2009
On May 8, the New York Times reported that the top tax-writer in the House of Representatives said that there was “no way” he would support taxing employer-provided health benefits. How can liberal Democrat Charles Rangel oppose cutting tax breaks for CEOs' gold-plated health benefits? Especially...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Looking over the list of Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Newt Gingrich of Georgia — it is hard to imagine President Obama not being re-elected in 2012. Add to that the President’s approval rating of 63 percent, a Republican party d...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
There are two humongous problems with the Democrats’ approach to global warming. First, their support for conservation is halfhearted. Second, they can't resist picking winners and losers (in other words, their policies are not “technology neutral”). What’s wrong with subsidies for green techno...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Now the Obama Administration is running on hope. This is not Republican propaganda. No matter what you think of the President's program, you can't escape what the numbers are telling us. The federal government's finances are headed down the tubes. Our only hope is big entitlements cuts or tax incr...
Monday, April 13, 2009
The government's finances are in terrible shape -- far, far worse than anything we experienced in the 1980s. Budget experts are nearly unanimous that the government must undergo major tax increases or major cuts in Social Security and Medicare -- the sooner, the better. And because we need so much...
Monday, April 6, 2009
"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are not like you and me. They possess and enjoy early. . . ." So wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1926. Well it turns out they don't die like you and me either. In 2007 the average cost of a funeral for 32,960 of America's richest dead people was $10,334. Thi...
Friday, April 3, 2009
Yesterday the G-20 summiteers released their official communiqué and among many other important things it included a new agreement to crack down on tax havens. The world’s leaders would like you to believe because of their action you can no longer evade taxes by hiding assets offshore. But their a...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic is like my brother-in-law Vinny. He’s loud and even in polite company he argues like he’s in a barroom brawl. He (the prime minister) once said in a newspaper interview that the European constitution was “shit.” And at a meeting of his country’s parlia...