Who would benefit from the Senate leadership’s current health bill? A new analysis by TPC and the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center finds that low-income households would be more than $2,500 worse off after taking into accounting the plan’s tax and benefit cuts. By contrast, those making $200,000 or more would enjoy a net benefit of $5,420. TPC’s Howard Gleckman summarizes the research.
Which may mean…two more weeks of legislative work. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may cut the summer recess short and keep the Senate in session through mid-August. The chamber would use the time to pass a debt limit and address a health bill. It may vote as soon as next week on a motion to consider the health plan. If the effort succeeds, McConnell says the Senate would move quickly to finish its work, one way or the other.
What will be in the new health bill? McConnell promises to roll out a revised bill tomorrow. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that it will likely retain the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent tax on net investment income and 0.9 percent payroll tax surcharge on individuals with incomes above $200,000 or married couples with income exceeding $250,000.
Will Seattle’s new income tax survive a court challenge? The city council passed a 2.25 percent tax on income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples filing jointly. The mayor will soon sign the measure into law, and a legal challenge is on its way. Opponents have at least two arguments: State law prevents cities from taxing net income, and cities must have state authority to enact taxes.
Tax reform: There’s a 31-year-old lesson or two to be learned. Ronald Reagan was president, fanny packs were all the rage, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was making its way through Congress. In our second episode of TPC’s new podcast, Taxology, host Kathy Schalch leads a conversation with three veterans of the ’86, act: former Treasury aide Eugene Steuerle, former journalist Howard Gleckman, and former Ways & Means Committee staffer Janice Mays. Listen to the podcast or subscribe on iTunes, and find out what it took to achieve tax reform then, and what lessons policymakers can learn from the experience as they try again to rewrite the revenue code.
There’s also a five-year-old lesson to be learned… TPC’s Bill Gale shares his take on the Kansas tax cut experiment in the Brookings Institution’s podcast, Unpacked. The Brownback plan, enacted in 2012 in Kansas, aimed to boost the state’s economy, but instead led to lower than expected revenues, and brutal cuts to government programs. The Brownback tax cuts, one of the cleanest experiments for measuring the effects of tax cuts on economic growth, were eventually reversed by a Republican-controlled legislature as a failure.
Google finds out this week if it owes $1.3 billion to France. The European Union just assessed a large antitrust fine on the company, and Paris judges will soon rule whether the company illegally dodged taxes by booking France sales in Ireland.
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