Which of these things is not like the others: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich?
Tax Analysts Blog
The first time the issue of the "tampon tax" came up, I stuck my fingers in my ears and started singing la la la. I come from a generation that does not talk about such things in polite company. Actually, men didn't talk about such things in any company. I joked in a previous column that I am uncomfortable talking about such things. And I am.
Even though governments have been exchanging financial and tax information for decades, the volume, frequency, and regularity of those disclosures has begun to grow exponentially, and will soon grow logarithmically. If past intergovernmental information exchanges reflected the pace of a horse, and current exchanges have begun to approach the speed of a Ferrari, the exchanges on the near-term horizon will resemble the warp-speed travel known to fans of Star Trek.
Since 2002, I have been saying that states should repeal their corporate income taxes. The tax has not raised much money, and it never will. We spend an inordinate amount of time litigating, planning, auditing, and agonizing over it. We should stop pretending the tax matters, because it doesn't.
The ever more likely and the ever less liked Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has variously and vacuously threatened that on acceding to the Oval Office, he would slap tariffs of 35 percent on Mexican imports, including Ford cars and Carrier air conditioners, and 45 percent on all Chinese products brought into the country.
The weird power sharing situation between London and Edinburgh was on display last week when the United Kingdom's Conservative government announced that it would push forward with tax and spending cuts. Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, said she wouldn't accept the Conservatives' tax changes and would instead seek to protect spending on education and elder care.
Every so often these days, it looks like the member states of the European Union might unite on tax administration and policy issues. Building upon a fairly successful coordinated VAT regime, the EU is considering coordinating other tax policies. These include a financial transactions tax and the European fiscal Holy Grail, the common consolidated corporate tax base.
Bodacious fantasy was in ample supply on Capitol Hill earlier this month, at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on corporate tax reform. As important as tax reform is, we really don’t need further congressional hearings on it. Talk therapy won’t help. Everyone in Washington already knows what grown-up tax reform will look like. It looks like the Dave Camp bill.