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“Flatter” Taxes Aren’t Simpler, Only More Regressive

November 14, 2011

The timely op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal from Princeton economics professor (and former Federal Reserve vice chairman) Alan Blinder debunks a current myth in Washington that when it comes to taxes, flat equals simple.

A Permanent Corporate Tax Holiday at an Even Lower Rate?

November 8, 2011

Even as the business community spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress for a large, temporary tax cut on foreign profits that corporations repatriate to the United States, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are proposing a larger, permanent tax cut on those profits.

Exploding, Once Again, the “Non-Payer” Tax Myth

November 7, 2011

Have you heard the one about how nearly half of Americans don’t pay taxes? Nonsense, as the recent Congressional Budget Office report on income inequality reminds us.

As we have explained, in a typical year around 35-40 percent of households don’t owe any federal income tax. But most of them pay a significant share of their incomes in other taxes — particularly payroll taxes, as the CBO report points out:

Reality Check on Corporate Tax Reform

November 3, 2011

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee say they are trying to produce a corporate tax reform proposal that cuts the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent but raises as much revenue as the current system by eliminating or reducing tax expenditures.

House Punts on Tax Cheating by Government Contractors

October 27, 2011

The House voted today to repeal a law designed to fight tax cheating by private firms operating under government contracts. Now it’s up to the Senate to decide whether to go along with the House and ignore this problem, which increases deficits and forces honest taxpayers to pay for more than their fair share of government.

What a “Territorial” Tax System Would Mean, in One Chart

October 25, 2011

BNA reports today that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) will soon propose a corporate tax plan that includes a “territorial” system of international taxation. The business community is lobbying Congress aggressively for it, claiming it would help the economy, and many lawmakers may not fully understand what a territorial system would really mean.

Here’s what would happen:

Corporate Tax Holiday Would Be a Costly Mistake

October 24, 2011

“The evidence is there,” the New York Times writes in an editorial today. “A corporate tax holiday won’t create more jobs. What it will do is raise the deficit.”

A well-funded corporate lobbying campaign is pushing Congress to allow multinational corporations to bring profits held overseas back to the United States at a temporary, bargain-basement tax rate.

Senator Levin Provides More Required Repatriation Tax Holiday Reading

October 12, 2011

Amidst a massive campaign to convince policymakers to grant U.S. corporations a second repatriation tax holiday, allowing them to pay sharply reduced taxes on overseas profits that they bring back to the United States, Chairman Levin’s majority staff on the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has issued a timely analysis of how and why the first holiday of 2004 was such a complete failure.

Latest Corporate Tax Repatriation Proposal Fails the Test of Sound Policy

October 6, 2011

Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and John McCain (R-AZ) announced a proposal today to allow multinational corporations to bring home (or “repatriate”) earnings held overseas, for a temporary period of time, at a tax rate of just 8.75 percent — a fraction of the regular 35 percent corporate tax rate. They, and the massive corporate lobbying campaign that’s pushing for a corporate repatriation holiday, claim it would create jobs and boost the economy as firms invest the repatriated profits in the United States. The reality, however, is that the new proposal suffers from the same serious flaws as other “repatriation” proposals.

Millionaire Myths, Indeed

September 26, 2011

The Washington Post’s “Five Myths About Millionaires” piece yesterday by John Steele Gordon did more to perpetuate myths than dispel them. Below are corrections to each of his five points: