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Blog Profile / Business in The Beltway


URL :http://blogs.forbes.com/beltway/
Filed Under:Business & Finance
Posts on Regator:396
Posts / Week:2
Archived Since:February 28, 2011

Blog Post Archive

House GOP Leadership Would Require Dynamic Scoring of Some Tax Bills. Will It Matter?

Last night, the House Republican proposed new rules that would require the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office to incorporate macroeconomic effects of “major” legislation into their official budget estimates. But there may be less to these new rules for so-called “dynamic scoring” than meets the eye. The GOP did not make […]

The Tax Vox Lump of Coal Awards: The 10 Worst Tax Ideas of 2014

It’s time for the annual Tax Vox Lump of Coal Awards for the worst tax policy of 2014. The past 12 months were a banner year for bad ideas and their perpetrators. The Top 10 are: Frank Underwood & Elvis. Tax subsidies for economic development hardly ever pay for themselves. But two are worthy of […]

The War on the IRS

The massive 2015 spending bill that President Obama is likely to sign this week continues an ongoing effort to trash the Internal Revenue Service.  It is a cynical recipe for a self-fulfilling disaster: Give the agency more and more work. Cut its budget. Blame it for failing to do its job. Repeat. House GOP Appropriators […]

‘Fast Track’ To Nowhere: Congress Shouldn’t Give Obama Power To Ram Through TPP

If the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade and global governance agreement has any chance at passage, it will require the usual alliance of Democrats and Republicans. Disgruntled citizens voted to “throw the bums out” because they were not delivering jobs and prosperity. Yet there is a danger that President Obama and the Republican leadership did not […]

Will Immigrants Get A Tax Windfall From Refundable Credits?

In the end-of-the-year congressional scramble, lawmakers scuttled an effort to permanently extend a number of tax breaks—largely because many feared it would open the door to widespread use of refundable tax credits by undocumented immigrants covered by President Obama’s recent executive order. But is their concern justified? Three sets of rules related to residency and […]

Why the More Generous Child and Earned Income Tax Credits Should Be Made Permanent

co-authored with William G. Gale While most of the tax drama these days is focused on the fate of 50+ mostly-business tax breaks that expired nearly a year ago, lawmakers are also debating two provisions that are enormously important to low- and moderate-income households-the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Temporary measures […]

My Favorite (Expired) Tax Breaks

And now, for a lighter look at tax extenders, here’s a song that borrows the tune of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.” If you’re looking for something more serious, check out Len Burman’s TaxVox thoughts on the issue. My Favorite (Expired) Tax Breaks Special deductions of teachers’ expenses, Tax-free forgiveness for lost residences, […]

How Did Medical Device Makers Become Poster Children for Obamacare Critics

The push to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices has somehow become a touchstone for GOP efforts to chip away at President Obama’s health care law. But why?  To paraphrase Bogart’s  classic line from Casablanca:  Of all the taxes in all laws in all the world, why did they pick this one? […]

Now is the Perfect Time to Raise Gas Taxes

Let’s see if I have this right: Congress needs to finance highway and transit projects but can’t agree on how. The traditional revenue source is the gasoline tax. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in years and dropping. Consumers would barely notice if they had to pay a bit more now at the pump. […]

Did Cutting Taxes Get Governors Reelected?

At first glance, the message was pretty clear: If you were a governor who cut, you probably got reelected on Tuesday. If you were a governor who raised (or even a candidate who worked for one) you probably lost. It was true in deep red states like Kansas where, against all odds, Sam Brownback […]

Six Things To Watch In the New GOP Congress

Republicans had a very good day yesterday. But can they translate their ballot-box success into a positive legislative agenda? It won’t be easy but here are six clues: Mitch McConnell: He is a brilliant legislative tactician. We know he’ll use those skills to try to outmaneuver Democratic Leader Harry Reid but will he also use […]

Is There Any Chance Congress Will Pass Business Tax Reform Next Year?

In the run-up to week’s congressional elections, Republicans are saying that if they win control of the Senate, they will try to pass tax reform as part of an ambitious “we can get things done” agenda. Is there any possibility that a GOP-controlled Congress could rewrite the provisions of the tax code? The chances are not zero. [...]

Why Lawyers and Economists Can’t Communicate, And What It Means For Tax Policy

Any close observer of the making of tax can see it: Lawyers and economists looking at the same issue through entirely different prisms. I’ve been fascinated by how their respective brains work, and why they have so much trouble communicating with one another. It turns out I am not alone. In a newly published paper [...]

A “Normal” Budget Isn’t Really Normal

Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman noted, the top line figures all came in close to their 40-year averages. The $483 billion deficit was about 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, for example, slightly below the 3.2 percent average of the past four decades. Tax revenues clocked [...]

Taxes and Spending Return To “Normal”– But Not For Long

Yesterday, the Treasury Department reported that the deficit for Fiscal Year 2014, which ended on Sept. 30, fell to $483 billion, or about 2.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This being, the report was hailed as either an enormous success or dismissed as meaningless.  Who is right? Is it good news or bad news? [...]

Pass-Through Firms Report $800 Billion In Net Income, Can’t Be Ignored In Business Tax Reform

is going through another one of its periodic calls for tax reform. But new research by my Tax Center colleague Joe Rosenberg shows just how hard it is to separate taxation from the individual tax code. And it should serve as a warning to those who think Congress can enact corporate tax reform that ignores these [...]

The Public Wants Clear Rules About Campaign Giving Through Tax-Exempts. Is It Possible?

A poll released today by the conservative Hudson Institute and the liberal group Public Citizen finds that nearly 9 in 10 voters surveyed favor clear rules that define political activities by non-profit tax-exempt organizations. The public’s desire for clarity is not surprising, given the amount of undisclosed campaign money that is flooding through tax-exempt 501(c)(4) [...]

Treasury’s New Rules May Slow, But Won’t Stop Corporate Tax Inversions

Will Treasury’s new rules stop the wave of corporate tax inversions? No they won’t. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew acknowledged as much when the agency proposed the curbs yesterday. Will they slow the practice? Perhaps, but even that is not certain. In a perverse way, Treasury’s most effective weapon may have been ambiguity. Once the Administration announced [...]

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started, but it wants someone to co-sign and be on the hook if she misses any payments. She offers to pay [...]

Treasury’s Lew Says Anti-Inversion Decision Will Come Soon, But Offers No Hints About What Or When

In a speech today at the Tax Policy Center, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the agency will decide “in the very very near future” how it will respond to the recent wave of tax-motivated corporate inversions.  Lew strongly urged Congress to curb the practice on its own, but suggested Treasury might move administratively if lawmakers [...]

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