Tax Law

Recent Posts

A Benchmark for Socialist Tax Rates
Posted on 15 Mar 2012 by Robert Goulder

You've heard it a thousand times. President Obama wants to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for households with taxable incomes under $250,000 a year, while allowing those cuts to expire for wealthier taxpayers. Were that to occur, the 33% bracket... Read More

In Defense of Tax Reform Fantasies
Posted on 30 Nov 2010 by Tax Analysts Editorial Staff

My colleague Marty Sullivan is unconvinced by recent arguments for pairing deficit reduction with tax reform. "Tax reform is one of the most arduous tasks Congress could ever undertake," he points out. "So is massive deficit reduction.... Read More

Tags: tax reform

Apple Sidesteps Taxes – What’s Wrong With That?
Posted on 1 May 2012 by Christopher Bergin

A front-page article in Sunday's New York Times (" How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes ") is getting quite the buzz. A couple of things about the article. While the Times piece recognizes that there is nothing illegal about the techniques... Read More

The Myth of Revenue Neutrality
Posted on 11 Jan 2011 by Christopher Bergin

Somehow the concept of revenue neutrality has become a fundamental principle of tax reform. . . . The principle of revenue neutrality says that you can change your tax system all you want as long as it collects the same amount of revenue. See? Then... Read More

President Romney's Tax Reform
Posted on 18 Sep 2012 by Martin A. Sullivan

If elected president, Mitt Romney will have to make some adjustments to his tax plan. For now he is saying that he wants to lower rates across the board by 20 percent and entirely offset the cost by scaling back tax expenditures unrelated to investment... Read More

Capital Gains: The Missing Link to Tax Reform?
Posted on 3 Oct 2012 by Martin A. Sullivan

The big stir about Romney's tax plan --that if you fill in the blanks with likely revenue raisers the plan will result in tax increase for the middle class--all stems from the fact that tax breaks are not evenly spread over income categories . Proportionately... Read More

That Shining Guillotine on the Hill
Posted on 14 Oct 2011 by Christopher Bergin

Obviously lobbyists in Washington live in a bubble. I say that because if I were a lobbyist in Washington working for, say, Google or Pfizer I would be reminding my client about the French Revolution, rather than running around the Capitol frantically... Read More

Why Experts Really Don't Like 9-9-9
Posted on 21 Oct 2011 by David Brunori

Most mainstream public finance experts have been critical of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. They have called the plan crazy and nuts and evil. I was shocked at the unanimity of the opposition. But I know why they hate it. First, Cain is a guy who sold... Read More

Tags: tax reform

Trick or Treat and the Mortgage Interest Deduction
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 by Christopher Bergin

Just in time for Halloween, the Obama Administration is leaking that there are some scary things going on in its deficit commission. The commission is due to come out in a few weeks with its recommendations for confronting the impending bankruptcy of... Read More

Winter Wonderland
Posted on 17 Dec 2010 by Martin A. Sullivan

Newsflash: We interrupt the Capitol Hill Chorus Holiday Special featuring traditional favorites of “O Holy Tax Reform” “Happy Christmas (Deficit is Over)” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Tea Party” to bring you this... Read More

The Fate of Tax Reform Depends on the Tea Party
Posted on 11 Jan 2011 by Martin A. Sullivan

A new day is dawning, and on Capitol Hill, conservatives must make a choice. Will they follow the easy path of politics as usual, or will they practice what they preach and adhere to their core principles? The high-profile controversy over earmarks in... Read More

Obama's Corporate Minimum Tax
Posted on 5 Mar 2012 by Robert Goulder

President Obama has given us his framework for corporate tax reform . There's much talk about his proposed minimum tax on offshore profits. The framework is thin on details, but we're able to provide the following preview of how the tax might... Read More

WSJ Reports Republicans Ready for Tax Hikes
Posted on 8 Nov 2011 by Martin A. Sullivan

Talk about burying the lead! In this morning's Wall Street Journal Stephen Moore reports in the 4th paragraph of an op-ed that super-committee co-chairman Jeb Henserling (R-Tex.) told him: "We have no interest in raising rates --period."... Read More

Will Developed Countries Learn to Tax?
Posted on 6 Mar 2012 by Allison Christians

In 1963, Nicholas Kaldor published a paper in Foreign Affairs about the ongoing fiscal problems of poor countries, entitled " Will Underdeveloped Countries Learn to Tax? " It turns out Kaldor should have aimed this advice at his own country... Read More

Tax Reform Fantasy
Posted on 30 Nov 2010 by Martin A. Sullivan

The most difficult thing to understand about the President's deficit reduction commission is its love affair with tax reform. Under one proposal it would cut $1.1 trillion in tax expenditures, but only $80 billion of that would be for deficit reduction... Read More

  • Blog Post: Trick or Treat and the Mortgage Interest Deduction

    Just in time for Halloween, the Obama Administration is leaking that there are some scary things going on in its deficit commission. The commission is due to come out in a few weeks with its recommendations for confronting the impending bankruptcy of the United States. Lately, it’s been reported...
  • Blog Post: The Opposite of Tax Reform

    Some folks are getting excited about tax reform. The sweeping Wyden-Gregg plan is getting attention. And there are a reports (for example, here and here ) that the President's deficit reduction commission could propose cutting back prominent middle class tax benefits--like the mortgage interest deduction...
  • Blog Post: Tax Reform Fantasy

    The most difficult thing to understand about the President's deficit reduction commission is its love affair with tax reform. Under one proposal it would cut $1.1 trillion in tax expenditures, but only $80 billion of that would be for deficit reduction. So, less than 10 percent of the revenue for...
  • Blog Post: In Defense of Tax Reform Fantasies

    My colleague Marty Sullivan is unconvinced by recent arguments for pairing deficit reduction with tax reform. "Tax reform is one of the most arduous tasks Congress could ever undertake," he points out. "So is massive deficit reduction. What is it that makes people think that doing both...
  • Blog Post: Winter Wonderland

    Newsflash: We interrupt the Capitol Hill Chorus Holiday Special featuring traditional favorites of “O Holy Tax Reform” “Happy Christmas (Deficit is Over)” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Tea Party” to bring you this breaking news: There will be no pain on Capitol...
  • Blog Post: The Myth of Revenue Neutrality

    Somehow the concept of revenue neutrality has become a fundamental principle of tax reform. . . . The principle of revenue neutrality says that you can change your tax system all you want as long as it collects the same amount of revenue. See? Then it's not a tax increase. But what if one of the...
  • Blog Post: The Fate of Tax Reform Depends on the Tea Party

    A new day is dawning, and on Capitol Hill, conservatives must make a choice. Will they follow the easy path of politics as usual, or will they practice what they preach and adhere to their core principles? The high-profile controversy over earmarks in appropriations bills is a prime example of this struggle...
  • Blog Post: That Shining Guillotine on the Hill

    Obviously lobbyists in Washington live in a bubble. I say that because if I were a lobbyist in Washington working for, say, Google or Pfizer I would be reminding my client about the French Revolution, rather than running around the Capitol frantically trying to get lawmakers to declare a repatriation...
  • Blog Post: Why Experts Really Don't Like 9-9-9

    Most mainstream public finance experts have been critical of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. They have called the plan crazy and nuts and evil. I was shocked at the unanimity of the opposition. But I know why they hate it. First, Cain is a guy who sold pizza for a living. The intellectuals are going to...
  • Blog Post: To Hell With Tax Reform -- For Now

    I hate to drag you away from your fascination with Herman Cain's 999 plan and Rick Perry's flat tax, but if we are going to make real progress, we can't fixate on every overhyped, half-baked tax slogan that comes along. Sooner or later we must get back to basics. Here's the main question...
  • Blog Post: WSJ Reports Republicans Ready for Tax Hikes

    Talk about burying the lead! In this morning's Wall Street Journal Stephen Moore reports in the 4th paragraph of an op-ed that super-committee co-chairman Jeb Henserling (R-Tex.) told him: "We have no interest in raising rates --period." (Emphasis added here.) This could imply there is...
  • Blog Post: The Smart Money Says Deadlock

    In politics, the smart money is always cynical. It bets on inertia, not change; on symbols, not substance. Hope? Progress? Suckers' bets. The smart money isn't always right, but when it comes to the so-called supercommittee, it's made a safe bet. With a week to go, the panel seems unlikely...
  • Blog Post: Tax Reform? Just Don’t See It

    So let me see if I have this right. If you allow the so-called Bush tax cuts to expire, which they were designed to do, it's a huge tax increase (the GOP). If you allow the temporary cut in payroll taxes to be temporary, it's a huge tax increase (President Obama). And this stuff works, depending...