One hundred and two years ago today, Wyoming became the final state to ratify the 16th Amendment, giving Congress the constitutional authority to establish a federal income tax. Later that year, Congress used that authority to establish the modern income tax system.
President Obama’s budget, which was released today, rewards corporate tax avoiders by forgiving hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate income taxes they owe on profits stashed offshore. The president proposed a minimum tax on offshore corporate profits last year, but only with today’s budget was he specific about the tax rates he would propose.
On Jan. 13, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. The bill would eliminate incentives for U.S. companies to shift jobs overseas, close offshore loopholes to ensure corporations are paying their fair share in taxes, and change rules on corporate inversions.
The White House has released a proposal to allow students to attend community college for free for their first two years if they work hard and keep their grades up. The “America’s College Promise” plan prioritizes public investments in more affordable education and could benefit as many as 9 million American students enrolled in community colleges across the country. The plan would save full-time students an average of $3,800 in tuition each year.
Today is the birthday of the Clean Air Act, legislation signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon forty-four years ago. This law is the centerpiece and platform for protecting the quality of the air we breathe. It took decades of work to get clean air laws passed, and over time amendments have been added to strengthen our air quality standards and to respond to new risks. This is the story of how we established standards to protect a public good that we all need, but most of us take for granted.
The 400 Americans with the highest incomes paid roughly 18 percent of their earnings in federal income taxes in 2010, down from just under 20 percent in 2009, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Of the 400 elite taxpayers in 2010, 37 paid an effective tax rate of less than 10 percent.