Will the House vote on a budget next week? Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says no: “More conversations among members will be required before moving the budget to the floor.” In other words, Republicans need to work out their differences. Fiscal hawks remain opposed to the budget deal struck last year between then-speaker John Boehner and the White House. The next votes in the House won’t take place until April 12, after the House takes its Easter recess.
House Ways & Means would require a Social Security Number for the refundable child tax credit. Tax Analysts reports (paywall) The panel approved along party lines a bill that would deny the credit to taxpayers who fail to report SSNs for their children. GOP members say it could reduce fraud and save almost $20 billion over ten years. The panel’s Democrats find the effort an attempt to fund the House budget at low-income working families’ expense.
How does Speaker Ryan feel about distributional neutrality? New York highlights the answer House Speaker Paul Ryan offered in an interview on CNBC. Distributional neutrality means that cuts in tax rates would not disproportionately benefit the wealthy. But Ryan said: “What you're talking about is what we call static distribution… What it presumes is life in the economy is some fixed pie, and it's not going to change… [that it’s] up to government to redistribute the slices more equitably. That is not how the world works.”
GOP presidential candidates seem to share Ryan’s world—or pie—view. TPC’s Bill Gale reminds us how things could change dramatically for the very rich in 2017—and the changes could be dramatically different depending on who gets elected. “Ted Cruz would cut taxes by $2 million for those in the top 0.1 percent. Donald Trump would cut taxes for this group by $1.3 million.” As for Democratic hopefuls: “Under Bernie Sanders’ plan, households in the top 0.1 percent would pay an average of more than $3 million more in taxes in 2017… If Hillary Clinton’s proposal were enacted, they’d pay $500,000 more.”
Gas tax talk continues in some states. Alabama’s House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee just approved a six-cent gas tax increase. And Mississippi’s Senate passed a placeholder bill that retains their flexibility to raise taxes and fees to fund road and bridge maintenance. If the state’s House passes it, House and Senate negotiators could work out a mix of tax and fee increases to fund around $375 million for road maintenance. Meanwhile in New Jersey, a new Rutgers University-Eagleton poll finds that 56 percent of the state’s residents oppose a 14.5 cent per gallon gas tax increase.
Next week on the Hill. The House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access holds a hearing on Tuesday about the Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit.
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