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Topic: Taxes

White House Still Seeks End to Tax Cuts

Posted on Sep. 08, 10 | 08:43 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
 This battle will get settled before November, but who will back down?  Vulnerable Democrats in Congress or the White House?  From the Politico:

President Obama disagrees with his former budget director’s proposal that the Bush tax cuts for the rich be extended for two years, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday. 

“We cannot afford to extend the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year,” Gibbs said in his daily briefing, restating the administration’s position repeatedly as reporters asked about a New York Times column by the recently departed budget chief, Peter Orszag. “We should and must pass legislation that extends the tax cuts for middle-class families.” 
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Will Democrats Extend ALL of the Bush Tax Cuts?

Posted on Aug. 30, 10 | 01:44 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
 Supply-side economist Brian Wesbury now believes (PDF) that Democrats will extend ALL of the Bush tax cuts, even those for the "rich."  Here are the three scenarios in which he sees this possibly playing out:

Ideally, it would happen before the election this year. But this would require President Obama and the Democrats to turn dramatically, just when the public is paying more attention to politics. It would look opportunistic, it would demoralize some liberal voters and it would undermine the Democratic position that tax rates on the rich don’t matter that much to the economy. 
How about in a lame duck session? If the consensus is right and Republicans take the House and make large gains in the Senate, it would give Democrats a chance to say they are listening to the voters. But in a lame duck session, Speaker Pelosi would still rule the House with little to no incentive to do the heavy-lifting needed to pass a bill.
That leaves us with one more scenario for extending the tax cuts, the one loaded with the most taxpayer uncertainty, but which may be the most likely outcome. In this scenario, Congress fails to extend any of the tax cuts before the end of the year. All of the tax rates from 2000 – on everyone, from the “rich” on down – come back on January 1. Then, sometime in 2011, President Obama – his political advisers telling him to maximize growth going into his re-election battle – agrees to an extension but only through 2012, with all the lower tax rates made retroactive to January 1.
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Quote of the Day

Posted on Aug. 16, 10 | 04:32 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
 From today's Wall Street Journal:

"The only purpose of the [Obama] deficit commission is to propose a tax increase that Democrats don't have to take responsibility for," said Mr. Connolly, the spokesman for the Club for Growth. "It's a fig leaf."
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$36 Billion

Posted on Aug. 12, 10 | 08:18 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
From the Washington Post [emphasis added]:

Republicans want to extend all the [Bush tax] cuts, which would cost the Treasury Department $238 billion in 2011, according to the taxation committee. President Obama and congressional Democrats have vowed to extend the cuts only for families making less than $250,000 a year and individuals making less than $200,000 -- 98 percent of American taxpayers -- in a plan that would add about $202 billion to next year's deficit. 
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Where Does the Laffer Curve Bend...on Cigarette Taxes?

Posted on Aug. 11, 10 | 03:53 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
 I was so happy to see liberals acknowledge the existence of the Laffer Curve yesterday, that I'd like to continue the discussion.  In the spirit of cooperation, I'd like to suggest to the Washington Post's Dylan Matthews if he would ask another question.

Where does the Laffer Curve Bend on Cigarette Taxes?

More specifically, New York is increasing its cigarette tax by $1.60 a pack.  Will the state collect the $40 million that it has estimated will come from the higher tax?

My prediction is that it will not.
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Where Does the Laffer Curve Bend?

Posted on Aug. 10, 10 | 01:27 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
Wow.  The Washington Post asked several economists where on the Laffer Curve the government maximizes tax revenue.  Here are their answers.  This is the first time I’ve seen several Lefties acknowledge not just the existence, but the verity, of the Laffer Curve.  That said, I think Greg Mankiw gives the best answer. Martin Feldstein makes a great point about GDP vs. deficit reduction.  And Steve Moore makes a great point about revenue-maximization vs. growth-maximization.
Sadly, no one approached the question with concerns about how higher tax rates affect economic liberty.
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DeMint, Baucus Debate 2011 Obama Tax Hikes

Posted on Aug. 09, 10 | 12:04 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
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Supply Sider Snooki

Posted on Jul. 30, 10 | 09:35 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
I found wisdom in an unlikely place - Snooki from MTV's Jersey Shore:

"I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10% tax on tanning. McCain would never put a 10% tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan," she said.

Snooki was referring to a provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act that mandates tanning salons impose a 10 percent tax on UV-ray sessions.

More here.
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Sen. DeMint Discusses Permanent Death Tax Repeal

Posted on Jul. 26, 10 | 10:50 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes

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Steinbrenner's Family Avoids Death Tax

Posted on Jul. 14, 10 | 10:28 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
From the New York Post:

He's a winner even in death.

George Steinbrenner died six months after the federal estate tax expired, saving his wife and four children about half a billion dollars -- and essentially ensuring they can keep the Yankees.

The tax, a 45 percent hit that lapsed in January due to lawmaker bungling, is set to be renewed in 2011 -- at 55 percent.

Had he died in 2009, his family would have owed about $500 million; if he had survived until 2011, the bill would have been $600 million.

Forbes last year estimated Steinbrenner's net worth at $1.1 billion.

It should be pointed out that if Democrats pass compromise legislation this year in order to avoid the pre-Bush Death Tax rates, they could make it retroactive to January 1, 2010.  That means Steinbrenner's family could actually be forced to pay after all.  The Death Tax is grossly unfair, but retroactively hitting families with it is even worse.
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Voinovich Votes NO on Making 15% Capital Gains Tax Rate Permanent

Posted on Jun. 24, 10 | 08:37 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Taxes
Yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint offered an amendment that would make the current 15% capital gains tax rate permanent, otherwise it is scheduled to increase to 20% at the end of this year.

The amendment failed, 40-57.  "Republican" Senator George Voinovich sided with most of the Democrat to kill the proposal.  Sen. Ben Nelson was the only Democrat to make the tax rate permanent.

Thankfully, Voinovich is retiring after this year.  He will not be missed.
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