July 26, 2014

dlim's blog

How the Homebuyer Tax Credit “Works” a Lot Like Cash for Clunkers

The news from Thursday’s Washington Post:

The Senate voted Wednesday to renew the government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers through the first six months of next year as part of a broader bill designed to extend unemployment benefits.

For the first time, the tax credit program would also enable many homeowners who buy a new primary residence to receive a $6,500 refund.

Sorry, Congress. There’s (Still) No Way to Raise Revenue Without Taxing (Real) People

Well, it took a couple months, but those with a stake in health care reform have finally figured out that the idea of an excise tax on insurance companies instead of an any alternative tax on “real people” was no magic cure for the want-more-revenue-but-don’t-want-higher-taxes blues. From a story by Ben Smith and Patrick O’Connor in today’s Politico (emphasis added):

What is "Plausible" for the Fiscal Outlook?

The first definition of “plausible” on dictionary.com is:

plausible
[plaw-zuh-buhl]

having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: a plausible excuse; a plausible plot.

Borrowing Good News on the Deficit?

Bloomberg and AP reported this week that the Obama Administration’s latest budget outlook, scheduled for release next Tuesday (same day as CBO’s summer update–watching the PR and press that day will be interesting), will show that they expect the fiscal year 2009 budget deficit to come in $2

Raising Taxes Without Taxing People?

Today’s Washington Post reports that the Senate Finance Committee has come up with a bipartisan plan that contains a new revenue offset (or “pay-for”) that’s more consistent with the goals of health reform (emphasis added):

CBO: The Health Reform Slopes Don’t Add Up

The Congressional Budget Office once again validates some intuition many of us had about health care reform: when you have health costs rising much faster than the economy is growing, a package that expands coverage but is unwilling to tax health ben

The Can’t-We-Do-Better Blue Dogs

In today’s Washington Post, Harold Meyerson complains that the centrist “Blue Dog” Democrats have a “can’t do” attitude when it comes to health care reform:

Obama Treasury Describes the Bush/Obama Tax Cuts

I looked at the Treasury Department’s “green book” on the Administration’s revenue proposals only a few days ago, curious to see how the Bush (soon-to-be Obama) tax cuts would be described, considering that they comprise the single most costly policy in President Obama’s proposed budget (about $2 trill

We only "scold" when politicians misbehave

Steven Pearlstein has a column in Wednesday, May 20's Washington Post called “Budget Scolds Shouldn’t Drown Out the Chorus Calling for Health Reform.” We assume that The Concord Coalition is among his targets given his definition:

The “Spare Change” in the Obama Budget

The Obama Administration released the "final installment" of their FY2010 budget this week. The summary tables can be found here. On his blog, OMB director Peter Orszag explains what's changed from the February release.