Taxes

With a deal in sight, Boehner looks for leverage

Featured image President Obama has made a counteroffer to Speaker Boehner that puts the two men within shouting distance of a deal that Boehner could present to his caucus. But much shouting — or at least much negotiating — remains before such a deal could be finalized. With that in mind, Boehner appears to be seeking whatever incremental leverage might be had. On the dealmaking side, Obama now says he will settle »

The municipal bond tax loophole — low-hanging fiscal fruit

Featured image Peter Schweizer proposes a tax increase that will raise $124.4 billion over the next ten years. He wants to eliminate the tax-exempt interest on municipal bonds for upper income Americans and, with respect to newly issued municipal bonds, eliminate it for all Americans regardless of income. According to Schweitzer, this move would produce $124.4 billion over the next ten years. Not surprisingly, President Obama has already proposed limiting or ending »

Cliff City, Part Two

Featured image George Will’s column, which Scott discusses below, stops short of arguing that we should go over the “fiscal cliff” in order to fix the tax code. Ending the tax credit that subsidizes wind power, for example, “is not quite a sufficient reason to go over the ‘fiscal cliff,’” Will writes, “but would be a consolation for doing so.” Will urges that arguments about “the propoer scope and actual competence of »

Now They Tell Us!

Featured image Knowledgeable observers have always known that the U.S. cannot come close to balancing its budget by increasing taxes on the rich, for the simple reason that we have nowhere near enough rich people, and our rich people have nowhere near enough money. Yet for the most part, this obvious fact has been obscured in press coverage of negotiations between President Obama and Congressional Republicans. At this late date, however, the »

Deal or no deal

Featured image According to the Washington Post, “the contours of a deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ are becoming increasingly clear.” That deal would consist of three elements: First, tax rates on the “wealthy” would increase, as President Obama insists they must, but by a bit less than he proposes and perhaps with a more realistic definition of who is wealthy. Some deductions would also be limited, as Republicans have proposed, in »

Taxes for Thee, but Not For Me

Featured image Liberals typically argue that marginal tax rates really don’t make that much difference to economic behavior.  So then why are so many companies rushing to pay special dividends before the first of the year, when taxes on dividends will triple?  Chief among them is the Washington Post, which just announced it will pay an early dividend: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Post Co. will pay its 2013 dividends before the »

It’s Time To Stick It To the Blue States

Featured image After years of campaigning for higher taxes, it is beginning to dawn on liberal residents of blue states that the effects, for them, will not be pretty. Most of the nation’s “rich”–those earning over $250,000 a year, or, depending on President Obama’s mood, $175,000–live in the blue states. Moreover, the deductions that are likely slated for reduction or elimination, including state taxes and home mortgages, mostly benefit blue state residents. »

Why Are Republicans Losing the Tax Debate?–Part 2

Featured image Further to yesterday’s post on Why Republicans Are Losing the Tax Debate (“It’s the fairness, stupid”), let’s take account of the best argument of the Left on the matter.  In response to the data showing that tax rate reductions have shifted the income tax burden to the wealthy, the Left responds that the share of total income accruing to the richest 1 or 10 percent of Americans has soared, by »

Two Things Barack Obama Doesn’t Understand: Taxes and Mathematics

Featured image Negotiations over the “fiscal cliff,” which I wrote about here, will begin soon. President Obama has laid down a single marker: he insists that taxes on “the rich” go up; specifically, that the Bush-era marginal income tax rates be allowed to expire as scheduled under current law on January 1, to be replaced by the rates that prevailed during the Clinton administration. Obama has conveyed the strong impression that canceling »

A “balanced approach” to reducing the debt — I’m for it

Featured image President Obama ran for re-election advocating a “balanced approach” to dealing with our fiscal crisis. Now, our own John Hinderaker has proposed one — raise everyone’s taxes by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire. You can’t get much more balanced than that. However, I don’t favor raising anyone’s taxes within the current tax code structure, and I don’t think, as a political matter, that Republicans should push for an across-the-board »

It’s Time to Let the Bush-Era Tax Rates Expire

Featured image The Bush-era income tax rates will expire at the end of the year. That is only one of a number of financially significant–some say cataclysmic–deadlines that occur around year end: the payroll tax holiday ends, the alternative minimum tax patch will expire, $36 billion in Obamacare taxes will take effect, tax extenders will expire, the (minimal) 2009 “stimulus” tax cuts will run out, the inheritance tax will increase, and 100% »

Obama vs. Romney on the Economy

Featured image This video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity does an excellent job of exposing the folly of Barack Obama’s punitive tax policies. Obama’s approach, which is grounded in “fairness” rather than economic logic, hurts the economy while actually magnifying existing injustices in the federal tax code: Economist John Taylor, meanwhile, explains why Romney’s policies are exactly what the U.S. needs to get its economy moving again. Read it all; »

Obama to financial cliff — bring it on

Featured image President Obama said yesterday that he’ll veto any bill designed to avoid the “financial cliff” America faces unless that bill raises taxes on the top 2 percent. Bill Otis had this reaction: This by itself should cost him the election. The guy is perfectly willing to kick off a new recession (not that we’re truly out of the last one) because the Republican House will only give him 98% of »

The truth about tax “fairness”

Featured image Stephen Moore is the invaluable editorial board member and senior economics writer at the Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of one of the books of the season: Who’s The Fairest of Them All: The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes and Wealth in America, just published by Encounter Books. The book addresses a a subject close to our heart; John and I took a whack at it in the »

Wednesday Afternoon Videos: Laff Tracks and Me

Featured image So the so-called “Law of Averages” would suggest that if you have to make three airplane connections in one day, one of them is going to misfire, and so sure enough I’m cooling my heels right now for several extra hours in an airport, overheating my Kindle and my patience in equal measure, etc.  Nevertheless, your intrepid roving Power Line bureau remains on the job. Our pal Charles C. Johnson »

Consequences of a Defective Education

Featured image More consequences of sending the Oval Office Churchill bust back to the Brits (not to mention the style of elite education Obama absorbed at Columbia and Harvard): Obama is vindicating one of Churchill’s great lines about the futility of trade protectionism.  Since I’m on the road I can’t lay my hands on the exact quote, but it goes something like: Thinking you can achieve prosperity through protection is like thinking »

Princeton Professor: Obama Is Misquoting Me

Featured image The Democrats are trying to rebound from last week’s disastrous Colorado debate by portraying Mitt Romney as a liar. The problem is that it is Barack Obama, not Romney, who plays fast and loose with the facts. Obama’s favorite attack on Romney is his claim that Romney’s tax plan involves a $5 trillion tax cut. As Romney pointed out during the debate, this simply ignores the fact that Romney advocates »