Tag: Budget and Tax Policy

Fundamental Principles of Income Tax Reform »

As 2017 was rushing to its end, the U.S. House and Senate passed different versions of income tax reform legislation, one of the Trump Administration’s top policy priorities. If a reconciled bill emerges from conference committee and is approved by majorities in both chambers of Congress before year’s end, the legislative effort would fulfill...
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Partisan Politics Disenfranchises the Minority Party »

The House and Senate have each passed their versions of a tax reform bill. Those bills now go to a conference committee consisting of members of the House and Senate to reconcile their (minor) differences so that both houses can vote on and pass the same bill. The conference committee is just a formality....
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Tax Tinkering »

It appears the Congress is getting closer to passing a tax reform bill. While there are differences between the current House and Senate versions, they are close enough that it is easy to see that they can be reconciled and tax reform legislation can be passed this year. Reform on the individual income tax...
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Don’t Shed Any Tears over the Repeal of Cook County’s Soda Tax »

On Wednesday, the commissioners of Cook County, Illinois, repealed the controversial soda tax that went into effect in August of this year. December 1, 2017, will be the first day residents of Cook County will no longer be required to pay a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages—and they’re better off without it. Although...
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Tax Reform Is a Scam: Tell Us What We Really Pay! »

In another post, Randall Holcombe rightly notes the pressing need for tax reform. Holcombe argues that Trump’s proposed tax reform is “an improvement over the current system.” That may be true; time will tell. Yet, today my news feed reports nonchalantly that the Republican Congress passed a budget in excess of $4 trillion. That...
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Progressive Democracy Works for the 1% »

The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in 2011 protested government policies that favored the 1%, the elite, over the 99%, the masses. Their protests were justified. The Wall Street fat cats who owned mortgage-backed securities were bailed out, but homeowners who had lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their mortgages were foreclosed. But...
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The Double Tax on Saving »

In an earlier post I argued for expanding tax-deferred retirement accounts because they eliminate the double tax on saving that exists under the current tax system. Here is the basic idea. People earn income and pay income tax on that income. If they save it and then earn interest (or dividends, or capital gains,...
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Tax Reform V: Eliminate the Estate Tax »

The estate tax amounts to a penalty on the heirs of those who have accumulated wealth over their lifetimes. It raises less than 1% of federal revenues, so it provides almost no benefit to anybody, but imposes a big cost on a few. There are many ways for the wealthy to avoid the estate...
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Tax Reform IV: Corporate Tax Reform »

The United States has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. While both the Obama administration and Trump administration have criticized American companies for moving operations off-shore, and considered a variety of policies for punishing them if they do, a better approach would be to design policies that make it...
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Tax Reform III: Tax Employer Health Care Benefits; Offer a Tax Credit to Health Insurance Purchasers »

In an earlier blog post I suggested eliminating all personal tax deductions, with a possible exception related to health care. One of the well-publicized problems with the American health care system is that employer-provided health insurance is not taxed, pushing us to a system in which people get health insurance from their employers. A...
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