Baucus Proposal: Corporate Rate Reductions, No Sequester Relief

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) released a series of discussion drafts proposing elements of tax reform this week, including recommendations for international tax reform.

Baucus clearly states that tax reform overall should be revenue positive for deficit reduction, but the proposal for international taxation is revenue neutral in the long-run—leaving open the possibility of revenue positive reform of the individual tax system.

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Paul Ryan's Revenue Reforms Slash Taxes on the Rich

Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his latest budget proposal, called "The Path to Prosperity," which serves as an update to his plan from last year. The proposal, which is the draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 House budget resolution, is supposed to be a fiscal framework for the House for the coming year. However, the congressman's tax plan is not a serious proposal for change.

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Buffett is Right, the Rich Should Pay More in Taxes

We're coming for your loot, Scrooge.

Warren Buffett's op-ed last week calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy has struck a nerve with conservatives, stirring charges of class warfare and zingers about how the billionaire investor should write a check to help Uncle Sam. Exemplifying the right's opprobrium, the reactionary Tax Foundation has been lambasting Buffett in a series of recent posts and has actually gone so far as to call on low- and middle-income Americans to pay more before the rich do.

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Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' ... for the Rich


Released Tuesday morning amid great fanfare, Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget proposal is turning out to be a grab bag of right-wing economic crankery. In fact, that's too nice: the proposal is flat out awful. And when I say "awful," I don't just mean evisceration-of-two-very-popular-social-safety-net-programs or two-thirds-of-proposed-spending-cuts-from-low-income-programs awful, but tax-hikes-on-middle-and-low-income-folks-combined-with-tax-cuts-for-the-rich awful.

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The Carried Interest Loophole-Closer is the Kitty and Congress is trying to put it in the Microwave

No kittens were harmed in the making of this blog post

Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) released an important call to action along with a report this afternoon about carried interest, the loophole that allows multimillionaire investment fund managers to subject their income to lower tax rates than the average citizen. The "extenders" tax package, which is currently before the Senate, includes a carried interest loophole-closer, but it seems that senators are listening to the fund managers' well-heeled lobbyists and their ridiculous claims against this commonsense policy change.

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CTJ Shows Tax Proposals in Rep. Ryan's 'Roadmap' Lead to Disaster

Luckily, No One was Hurt...

In a report released yesterday, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) critically examine the tax policies proposed recently in Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget alternative, conventionally titled, "A Roadmap for America's Future." Claims of the proposal "balancing the budget" and "reforming entitlements" have already been thoroughly debunked, but CTJ has contributed a valuable analysis of the young Republican's tax policies, which will actually cost the government "$2 trillion over a decade even while requiring 90 percent of taxpayers to pay more" than they already do in taxes.

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How Temporary is the Estate Tax's Death?

The Estate Tax Will Rise Again

Just before senators departed for the Christmas holiday, they wrapped up most of their pressing business for the year, including health care reform and an extension of the debt ceiling, but they failed to address the expiring estate tax. Because of the Senate's inaction, the estate tax effectively died on Jan. 1 and will stay dead until Jan. 1, 2011. That is until senators return from their winter break and resurrect the tax, which top tax writers on Capitol Hill are promising to do before March.

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Is the Senate Going to Allow the Estate Tax to Die?

R.I.P, Estate Tax...For Now

According to a Wall Street Journal article published this morning, efforts to pass some sort of estate tax extension in the upper chamber broke down late Wednesday afternoon. It seems the Democratic caucus can't agree on whether to permanently or temporarily extend 2009 estate tax levels. Though legislators are already promising to address the issue as soon as they return from the holidays, there is still time left to pass something. OMB Watch and a host of other organizations have submitted a letter to the Senate urging them to take action. Ironically enough for those who would champion the tax's death on Jan. 1, the consequences of inaction for small businesses and farms are costlier than extension.

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Warp Speed: An Appropriations Update

Oink Oink

Last night, as expected, Congress took a giant step toward finishing appropriations this year, as a House and Senate conference committee agreed to a $446.8 billion discretionary omnibus, which includes six of the seven remaining appropriations bills. In addition, the House this afternoon passed, by a vote of 241 to 181, the tax extenders package as a standalone measure rather than attaching it to an appropriations bill; and it's completely paid for!

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How Big of a Joke is Our Tax System?

Monkeys on Bikes

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of our current tax code can tell you that it is broken. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), which posted an interesting piece this morning on the need for comprehensive tax reform, our tax system "is inefficient, distorts behavior, stifles economic growth, and raises insufficient revenue to fund current or projected levels of government spending." CRFB included several suggestions for the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), which was due to release a set of publicly generated recommendations on reforming the tax code today, but postponed the release until after the holidays.

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