The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
“A kiss is just a kiss…” Senator Elizabeth Warren has no love for a possible agreement on international tax reform. President Obama, for example, supports a 28 percent corporate tax rate, a 19 percent minimum tax on foreign income, and a one-time 14 percent tax on the more than $2 trillion in profits held offshore. Warren calls that a “giant wet kiss” to tax- avoiding corporations and argues it puts smaller US businesses at a disadvantage.
Perhaps “a case of do or die.” Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told House Ways and Means Committee ranking Democrat Sander Levin that the agency will issue more guidance this week on curbing corporate inversions.
“Play it once, Bill, for old time’s sake.” House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster said of the latest two-week highway funding measure: “This is the last extension. Let me put an exclamation point on that.” The last time Congress passed a highway bill that lasted longer than two years? More than a decade ago. The conference committee negotiating the multi-year funding bill plans to report on its agreement by the first week of December. The House and Senate have until December 4 to vote on whatever compromise is reached or, well, you know…
“They get a trifle weary… with (the carried interest) theory…” Carried interest is a fund manager’s share of profits for managing assets. The Patriotic Millionaires, a group of 200 Americans with annual incomes of at least $1 million and/or assets of at least $5 million, back a proposal from Democratic senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Sander Levin of Michigan. They’d tax carried interest at ordinary income rates instead of at long-term capital gains rates.
On federal budgeting, “the fundamental things apply, as time goes by…” In his testimony to the House Budget Committee yesterday, Urban Institute’s Rudy Penner noted the problems with a biennial budget process. The former CBO director warned it would rely on potentially erroneous forecasts and leave Congress with fewer opportunities to review programs, since oversight usually accompanies work on spending bills. Another witness, founding CBO director Alice Rivlin, was more sanguine about the idea.
On tax policy and presidential candidates, “it’s still the same old (and relevant) story.” In their new paper, TPC’s Bill Gale and Aaron Krupkin of the Brookings Institution urge candidates to focus on long-term revenue goals, a carbon tax, corporate taxation, and fairness. They write, “Comprehensive tax reform is easy to talk about, but hard to do. The pursuit of sweeping tax simplification is a noble goal, but quixotic.”
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Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution.