Spenders gonna’ spend, tax-cutters gonna’ cut… The House Budget Committee passed its $3.8 trillion budget, but only after giving in to GOP defense hawks: They got $20.5 billion in defense spending without offsets. Meanwhile, TPC’s Howard Gleckman tries to square the House GOP’s tax cuts with its no-tax-cut budget. He can’t. Nobody can—and it doesn’t really matter. The tax cuts aren’t going to become law anytime soon, and “few lawmakers in either chamber are really prepared to back the real spending cuts necessary to balance the budget in 10 years.”
And haters gonna’ hate… a tax in Rhode Island. Pop and country star Taylor Swift owns a beachfront mansion in Westerly. She faces a luxury tax proposed by Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo. The so-called “Taylor Swift tax” would apply to second homes worth more than $1 million, and could raise $12 million as part of Raimondo’s effort to erase the state’s $190 million deficit… It’s no. Mean. Feat.
No tax cuts in Mississippi, thanks to the state’s Dems. The GOP-backed $555 million tax cut passed the Senate but died in the House. Corporations, small businesses, and individuals would have enjoyed tax cuts over the next 15 years, but the bill’s opponents said that the cuts would take money from public schools and colleges, infrastructure, and other government services.
A sales tax increase in Pennsylvania could raise billions. Or at least that’s the projection from Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. He’d increase the sales tax from 6 to 6.5 percent and expand it to additional goods and services. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue says that would bring in $1.16 billion in the coming fiscal year and $2.97 billion in the next.
With tax reform, it could help to take the long view. TPC’s Len Burman takes a closer look at the Rubio-Lee tax reform plan. He concludes that lower-income families with children are much better off with existing child credit. As far as others, “in the short run, higher-income households with kids might like the plan—at least as long as they don’t think too much about how higher deficits will affect their children’s future.”
On the Hill next week. On Tuesday, the House Ways & Means panel’s Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the federal government’s use of data analysis—particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Fraud Prevention System—to identify emerging trends, and stop Medicare fraud.
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