Taxes

Happy Tax Day, from Remy

Featured image You knew this was coming—Remy on tax day travails (less than 2 minutes long—enough time to fill out one line on your Schedule A): »

Who Pays Federal Income Taxes?

Featured image Today’s Wall Street Journal has an estimate of who paid 2014 federal income taxes. The estimate is from the Tax Policy Center, as official IRS data won’t be available for a couple of years. The Journal headlines, “Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax,” but that actually understates how skewed the tax burden is. This chart shows shares of income and income taxes by quintile. Note that the »

The Mask Slips on the Climate Scam

Featured image Forget the scientific argument over climate change for the moment, or for that matter, assume that climate catastrophe is a certainty for purposes of discussion.  From the beginning the climatistas and their media cheerleaders have confined all policy discussion to one single track: suppress fossil fuels, even though no affordable, scalable substitutes for hydrocarbon energy are in sight. The practical ideas for the suppression of hydrocarbon energy have taken two »

Civil War on the Right (Part 1?)

Featured image I’ve got an old clip from the Wall Street Journal that quotes a Michigan legislator some years ago saying, “Some of our friends wanted it in the bill, some of our friends wanted it out, and Jerry and I are going to stick with our friends.” That’s how I feel about a Wall Street Journal story this morning that lifts the lid on a growing split among conservatives that I’ve »

Lame Duck Obama Gets Old-time Left-Wing Religion

Featured image White House officials have leaked a preview of President Obama’s State of the Union speech. ABC News described the centerpiece of the president’s wish list: “Obama to Propose Capital Gains Tax Hikes to to Benefit Middle Class.” Specifically, Obama will propose raising the top capital gains rate from 20% to 28%. This would be paired with increasing inheritance taxes and imposing new taxes on banks. How will all of this »

I’ll See Your Reagan, and Raise You a Clinton

Featured image A handful of House Democrats, led by the egregious Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, have conducted a stunt of bringing a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan to the House floor to bolster their case for raising the federal gasoline tax, because falling gasoline prices are simply unbearable if you’re a liberal. “All it takes is a little leadership and courage, like Ronald Reagan and [House Speaker] Tip O’Neill did 32 years »

Who’s Obstructionist?

Featured image We hear a lot about Republican obstructionism, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing–the Obama administration wants to do lots of things that ought to be obstructed. Still, it is odd how seldom we hear about Democrats being obstructionist. That is starting to change, perhaps, following the mid-term elections. But think about the last six years: the Republicans wanted to obstruct Obamacare and the “stimulus” boondoggle, but they didn’t have the »

Inversion Therapy for Liberals

Featured image As we note here frequently—like yesterday, on the minimum wage—when it comes to economics liberals suffer from a severe case of cranial-rectal inversion. Liberalism’s latest trip to a tight dark place is over the issue of —irony alert— “inversions,” whereby American corporations buy foreign companies and “relocate” their headquarters to a foreign nation to lower their corporate income taxes.  Kind of like what rich northeasterners do when they retire and »

Picking on Piketty: Why He Won’t Fade Away, and Why His Message Won’t Work

Featured image Pretty clearly Thomas Piketty is making a bid to become the most popular French export to America since Bridgett Bardot, but the difference is that Bardot had more substance to her.  There are numerous devastating critiques of his framework for arguing we need a wealth tax, though above all I’ve never once heard someone explain how higher taxes on the rich will benefit the middle and working classes.  (You don’t »

Is the EPA Merging with the IRS?

Featured image With increasing signs that the EPA is having trouble coming up with a regulations designed to kill coal-fired power plants that will survive legal challenge, there is fresh news that the EPA is, on its own authority, considering allowing states to impose a carbon tax.  From Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a proposed rule due out in June that could allow »

Nice Break If You Can Get It [With Dissent by John]

Featured image I know I wasn’t alone when I heard the news last year that Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” had sold for a staggering $142 million at an art auction.  Who could have been the buyer?  Surely a Russian oligarch, or a Silicon Valley techillionaire.  Turned out to be Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of casino magnate Steve Wynn.  (That must have been some divorce settlement.) The next bit of »

Just In Time for Tax Day: Remy to the Rescue

Featured image So it’s everyone’s favorite day of the year tomorrow.  Just in time, our pal Remy Munasifi and ReasonTV bring you a remake of Pharrell Williams’ tune “Happy.”  Lyrics at the link to the left.  About two minutes long. »

House report demonstrates wisdom of Lois Lerner’s Fifth Amendment plea

Featured image The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has released a scathing report on Lois Lerner’s involvement in the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative advocacy groups. Based on an extensive investigation that included a review of Lerner’s email traffic, the report shows that Lerner, in response to political pressure, willfully pushed the IRS to crack down on conservative nonprofit organizations. According to the Committee report: [D]ocuments show that Lerner and »

A modest proposal for the tax treatment of union dues [UPDATED]

Featured image A friend from California writes: I use software for my taxes and noticed for the first time when going through the Q & A that there’s a question about union dues related to deductions for job expenses. I’ve never paid union dues and have never paid much attention to this, but it raises a serious issue. Unions charge a member, say, $500 per year and spend much or most of »

The Camp tax proposal and Reform Republicanism

Featured image House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has proposed a radical overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code. Camp’s proposal broadens the tax base and lowers tax rates, which is the correct direction in which to move. Camp touts his proposal as “tax simplification,” which seems to be fair up to a point. However, his 1,000 page bill will leave federal taxation a complicated affair. Here, via Accounting Today, are »

The Wealth Tax Revisited

Featured image Back in February I mused about the idea of a “wealth tax” as a way of exposing the fact that so many of the rich liberals (Buffett, Gates, the Hollywood and Silicon Valley crowd) who support higher income taxes do so because higher income tax rates do not touch any of their vast fortunes, accumulated not in the form of taxable income, but in the form of non-taxed asset value »

Flatten the IRS?

Featured image The cartoon below brings up the question that has been on my mind since the IRS scandal first broke: might this be the opening for tax reform, or better still, a flat tax?  The arguments for a flat tax have long been not just simplicity but that it would be more conducive to economic growth.  But liberal and defenders of the status quo aren’t interested in economic growth through rational »