“It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven:” Or a letter from a broad coalition to Congress that pleads, “let the tax breaks expire.” Seven advocacy groups spanning the political spectrum write in their joint letter to congressional leadership, “it is time to stop making tax policy one year at a time. Continuing to renew special-interest tax giveaways on a temporary and often retroactive basis is bad tax, fiscal, and economic policy.” The groups include Americans for Prosperity, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.
"It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:” There are more tax fights ahead in Kansas. Democratic Governor-elect Laura Kelly wants to “let the dust settle” and stabilize the state budget before considering tax changes. But Republican state lawmakers want to rewrite state income tax laws to return to residents the revenue windfall that resulted from federal changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“’Tis mightiest in the mightiest.” Speaking of “tax changes,” TPC’s Howard Gleckman reflects on the late President George H. W. Bush’s ill-fated 1988 campaign promise of “no new taxes” and his acceptance of tax hikes two years later. Since then, “anti-tax Republicans made the Bush experience into an object lesson for GOP politicians: Raising taxes will destroy your political career. In response, thousands of candidates for office at all levels have taken their own no-tax pledge, and fiscal policy has become utterly gridlocked.” But is that the right lesson?
“It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.” France’s residents are now the most highly taxed among any OECD country, reports Bloomberg. Last year, France had the highest tax burden across the 34 nations in the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development. The share is now 46.2 percent, surpassing Denmark which led the OECD for over ten years. The Washington Post explains that the French opposition to a carbon tax has metamorphosed into a working-class revolt against President Emanuel Macron.
“…the force of temporal power.” A December 4 Politico/Morning Consult poll found that Republicans and high-income respondents were much more likely than Democrats or those with lower incomes to say their pay is up since passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Overall, 23 percent said they noticed a pay hike while 60 percent said they have not. But 37 percent of Republicans said they’ve gotten a raise compared to just 13 percent of Democrats. Similarly just 16 percent of those making less than $50,000 said their pay is up compared to 32 percent of those making $100,000-plus.
“In the course of justice none of us should see salvation…” Is there no love for the carbon tax among US environmentalists? Politico takes a look at the policy and its fading appeal. The story “shows the difficulties of crafting a politically palatable solution to one of the world’s most urgent problems — including greenhouse gas levels that are on track to reach a record high this year.”
“To render the deeds of mercy.” ’Tis the season for giving, for reasons that may or may not hold. The Tax Hound considers the fate of charitable giving in the wake of the TCJA’s increased standard deduction and reduced number of itemizing taxpayers in 2018. Will giving patterns change in 2019?
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.