December 22, 2014

dlim's blog

Fiscal Cliff's Sticking Point Getting Less Sticky

The long-standing impasse on tax policy has basically boiled down to this: Democrats want more revenue, raised entirely from households with incomes over $250,000. Republicans don’t want any new revenue, and especially not from higher tax rates on the rich. It seems like an irreconcilable difference.

But if you get beyond the predicable partisan rhetoric there is room for optimism that a deal can be reached.

Lawrence Summers Explains How Today's Tax Reform Issues Differ from the Past

At last week’s 105th annual conference of the National Tax Association in Providence, R.I., former Clinton Treasury secretary and Obama economic advisor Lawrence Summers explained that the tax reform needed today is very different from the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Pro-Growth Tax Reform: A Lot of Common Ground, But Still Some Stumbling Blocks

As part of the Strengthening of America -- Our Children's Future project that The Concord Coalition is co-sponsoring, a forum was held last week in New York on the topic of pro-growth tax reform.  The video of the full event is available here.  In the first part of the forum Martin Feldstein, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and a Romney advi

Do Bond Markets Underestimate the True Riskiness of U.S. Treasuries?

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The ultra-low interest yields on U.S. Treasury bonds seem to suggest "not much." Some of this is because relative to the fiscal positions of other countries, the U.S. economy seems relatively more capable of supporting the public debt. But it may also be because the pricing of government bonds is less an efficient reflection of the inherent market riskiness of the bonds than it should be.

How Politics Can Turn a Good Tax Policy Idea Bad

Last week the Tax Policy Center (TPC) released this distributional analysis of the Romney tax plan, exploring how the plan could be made revenue-neutral, as Romney has claimed it would be.  The TPC analysis found that it is impossible to pay for Romney’s proposed additional tax cuts (which are skewed heavily toward upper-income households ) with base-broadening revenue offsets (which according to the Romney plan cannot include increasing the taxation of capital income) w

Wrestling With the Risks and Rewards of a Global Economy

Lately it seems impossible to talk about the U.S. economy’s ailments and challenges without mentioning the rest of the world.

CBO Warns About the Fiscal Cliff

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an excellent analysis on the "Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013."  The CBO term “fiscal restraint” has been more popularly referred to as “the fiscal cliff.” That is because there are so many large, sudden fiscal policy changes awaiting us at the turn of the year that if we think of the U.S.

The Economy’s Ailments and the Best Fiscal Policy Prescriptions

Throughout this painfully prolonged economic recovery, economic developments as they are reported have often been confusing. They seem to send mixed messages about the best courses of action for fiscal policy.

Tax Day Question: Who Are the Rich and Why Should They Pay Higher Taxes?

On today's federal tax filing deadline, it just so happens that Congress and the Administration have been thinking of different ways to raise tax burdens on the rich.

New Congressional Report on Tax Reform: Base Broadening Is Hard To Do

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released a new report by Jane Gravelle and Thomas Hungerford called “The Challenge of Individual Income Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Tax Base Broadening.” In a nutshell, the report could be called “Base Broadening Is Hard to Do.”