Tax Law

Recent Posts

The Smart Money Says Deadlock
Posted on 16 Nov 2011 by Joseph J. Thorndike

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... Read More

Obama's Rate Cut: How Low Can You Go?
Posted on 23 Feb 2012 by Robert Goulder

President Obama's newly released 'framework' for corporate tax reform envisions a significant rate cut for U.S. firms. You can read the details at the President's Framework for Business Tax Reform . His basic idea is to lower the statutory... Read More

To Hell With Tax Reform -- For Now
Posted on 31 Oct 2011 by Martin A. Sullivan

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... Read More

The Opposite of Tax Reform
Posted on 29 Oct 2010 by Martin A. Sullivan

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... Read More

Tax Reform? Just Don’t See It
Posted on 30 Nov 2011 by Christopher Bergin

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... Read More

Tags: tax reform

Does America Need A Two-Page Tax Code?
Posted on 27 Mar 2012 by Allison Christians

Emphatically, no. I just absolutely disagree with Fareed Zakaria on this , as I do with anyone who thinks that the measure of a tax system is the shortness of its tax code. We live in a complex and intricate world, in which transacting involves complex... 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...