March 20, 2008
When a young Jack Nicklaus won the 1965 Master's, golf legend Bobby Jones said he "was playing a game with which I am not familiar." I have the same feeling about the financial markets today.
March 13, 2008
think I need a drink. Yesterday at TPC, a panel of experts looked at what the credit mess means for state and local governments. The answer is: Nothing good. I felt like I was watching the final minutes of the Super Bowl with a room full of New England Patriots fans.
March 11, 2008
Tax credits for buying health insurance are all the rage. John McCain loves them. So does Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama says he prefers to help people buy coverage with “income-related subsidies,” but these could easily morph into credits as well.
March 7, 2008
F. Scott Fitzgerald: "The very rich are different from you and me." Ernest Hemingway: "Yes, they have more money." The statisticians at the IRS quietly updated their fascinating data on the richest 400 Americans in response to a Congressional request. The Wall Street Journal's Tom Herman picked it up and published the tables, which we have posted on the Tax Facts website. [Table 1, Table 2, Table 3]
March 6, 2008
After a brief winter break, the AMT wars have resumed. By next week, the House will pass a fiscal 2009 budget that, among other things, would extend the annual Alternative Minimum Tax patch for another year. The House Budget Committee projects this would keep 20 million mostly middle class taxpayers off the dreaded levy. But, as it did last year, the House will also insist that the $62 billion fix be paid for with offsetting tax hikes.
March 4, 2008
The political Left claims the war in Iraq is ruining the U.S. economy. At the very least, they insist, we would be using the money that is supporting the occupation for more important domestic priorities, such as reforming health care. At worst, they insist, the war is to blame for current economic slump.
February 29, 2008
The tax break for employee-sponsored health insurance is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Internal Revenue Code. It gets absolutely no respect.
February 26, 2008
For years, conventional wisdom in Washington said the nation's long-term fiscal crisis is being driven by the aging of the Baby Boomers and their impact on entitlements, such as Social Security and, especially, Medicare and Medicaid.
February 25, 2008
Today's Washington Post takes Senator John McCain to task for promising unsustainable tax cuts, including making permanent President Bush's tax cuts, repealing the AMT, making permanent the research and experimentation tax credit, cutting the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, and allowing businesses to immediately write off all capital investments (rather than depreciating them over time). He has also proposed to require a super-majority vote in Congress for any tax increases. (Last week, TaxVox raised its own questions about how tough it would be for McCain to keep his tax cut promises.)
February 21, 2008
Hillary Clinton has an uphill struggle to win the Democratic nomination for President. But she is still battling, so I have a few questions for her, as I've had for John McCain and Barack Obama.