House Republicans say they may have a budget deal. After weeks of internal party battling, House GOP leaders say they may have found a way to get a budget passed. The plan, according to The Hill: Hard-liners would agree to retain the spending levels that former speaker John Boehner and the White House negotiated last year in return for a leadership promise of future votes on additional spending cuts. If the deal holds, it would be a big win for current speaker Paul Ryan and a significant concession from conservatives who had demanded spending reductions as their price for support of a budget.
To the 45th President: Implement the carbon tax. TPC’s Bill Gale explains in a new essay. “While this seems counterintuitive, given that most Republican candidates have not shown interest in the greenhouse gas policies often associated with a carbon tax, doing so makes good economic and political sense and has the support of a great number of economists, both liberal and conservative. A carbon tax would charge for carbon pollution, thus raising revenue and allowing for a combination of long-term debt reduction and cuts to taxes on personal income and corporate profits.”
A gas tax hike? No time like the present in Indiana. Or so says a new study from Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Gas prices are likely to stay low for a long time, and “according to generally accepted economic models, an increase in gasoline taxes of five cents will have no appreciable impact on key measures of employment or GDP in Indiana.”
Some tax extenders may help the environment. A new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory—a joint federal/private venture—finds that the renewable energy tax credits extended in December will increase use of wind and solar power, and reduce utility emissions. By the early 2020s, the group forecasts a net peak increase of 48 to 53 gigawatts of renewable energy generation. That’s a bigger increase than would have been possible without credits, NREL found. Carbon dioxide emissions could fall by between 540 million metric tons and 1.4 billion metric tons between 2016 and 2030.
On the Hill today… OMB Director Shaun Donovan will testify on the President’s budget before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
There’s a revolt against British taxation (again). This time, instead of Boston, a Welsh town named Crickhowell is “ground zero” for an anti-tax protest. Small business owners have been campaigning against a UK corporate tax structure that allows Facebook to pay $6,274 (£4,327) in corporate taxes, while a small local coffee shop paid $45,200, or £31,000. Said Steven Lewis, the coffee shop owner: “The multinationals want to be in an incredible haze of technical complexity because they want to hide in it… what I want to do is get a big gust of wind that blows all that away.” And maybe they’ll dump a box of smartphones in the nearest body of water to help make the point.
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