The CRFB prices out presidential candidates’ promises. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a new analysis of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s tax and spending plans. While both candidates say fiscal responsibility is important, neither “has put forward a plan to address the national debt.” The group concluded that Clinton would make matters only slightly worse while “Mr. Trump’s proposals would massively increase the debt.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urges immediate action on Puerto Rico. In his letter to Congress yesterday, Lew said, “In the event of default, and if creditor lawsuits are successful, a judge could immediately order Puerto Rico to pay creditors over essential services such as health, education, and public safety. This could force Puerto Rico to lay off police officers, shut down public transit, or close a hospital.” Congress must act before July 1 in order for Puerto Rico to avoid default.
The House GOP wants “postcard” tax filing, but there’s a catch. TPC’s Bob Williams breaks the news. Taxpayers would have to fill out at least 10 worksheets to make calculations not on the postcard. Plus, the form envisioned by House Speaker Paul Ryan and his GOP caucus has no room to report income such as Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation, and retirement distributions. Concludes Williams: “Ryan should take a bow for proposing a simpler tax code, but his bumper-sticker promise of postcard filing is misleading hype.”
How do you fund the troubled Washington Metro? TPC’s Richard Auxier explains that the transit system serves 10 jurisdictions and that “the real challenge is getting all of Metro's governments, each with a range of other priorities, to support the region's transportation system… If Metro is to remain viable, the local governments that have benefited so much in terms of both transportation and economic development will have to pick up the tab, and probably through some form of dedicated funding.”
In Nevada, Tesla sold some of its transferable tax credits to the MGM Grand. Tesla sold $20.4 million worth of credits to the casino, which used them to pay its gaming license fees. We don’t know how much the casino paid Tesla since it’s a private business transaction, but the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development says its “close” to the total earned by Tesla. The electric car manufacturer earned the credits in the largest tax break deal in Nevada history. Tesla promises that at least half the workers in its new $3.5 billion Storey County gigafactory will be Nevadans.
Hackers hit the IRS again, but the IRS was ready. The agency had to cancel its PIN authentication service last week when hackers again tried to steal user credentials. The attack only affected users who had not already filed returns, and the agency was able to stop the attack before it affected too many people. The IRS says in its press release, “We were able to identify this issue because of additional defenses put in place earlier this year, and backend protections remain in place.”
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