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Reality Check on Who Pays Taxes

May 26, 2011

Some policymakers and pundits are using the recent finding by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation that 51 percent of households owed no federal income tax in 2009 to argue that low- and moderate-income families don’t pay sufficient taxes. Our new report explains why those claims are unfounded. In brief:

On Corporate Taxes, “Territorial” Means “Zero”

May 19, 2011

Several top corporate executives say the United States should adopt a “territorial” tax system. Translation? They think the U.S. tax rate on the profits that corporations earn on their overseas investments should be zero.

The Rich Are “Different” — But Don’t Treat Them That Way

May 16, 2011

In an excellent post on the latest IRS data on the 400 highest-income taxpayers, the Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams cites F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote — “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me” — and then shows just how different. With an average income of $270 million in 2008, the typical household in the Top 400 made 4,700 times as much as the average American filing a 1040 form.

Cost of Proposed Corporate Tax Holiday Soars

May 11, 2011

As I explained recently, corporations have launched a massive lobbying campaign for another temporary tax holiday for overseas profits they bring back to this country. Part of their pitch has been that it would effectively be a “free lunch” for taxpayers. Today, the cost of that supposedly “free” lunch went way, way up.

Ending Tax Cuts for Wealthy Would Make Major Contribution to Deficit Reduction

May 9, 2011

A recent Jennifer Rubin column in the Washington Post cites an OECD report and some CBO data to make her case that: “We can’t solve the debt problem by grabbing more money from the rich.”

Evidence Overwhelmingly Against Another Tax Amnesty for Overseas Corporate Profits

April 28, 2011

Today’s Washington Post story on the doings of the Washington “influence industry” (as the headline puts it) spotlights the massive lobbying campaign underway to convince Congress to grant large multinational corporations a temporary tax holiday for overseas profits they bring back to this country. This sets up a classic Washington battle of influence versus evidence.

Ryan’s Skewed Tax Priorities

April 26, 2011

We released a report today examining the tax proposals in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which the House approved on April 15. As it explains, those proposals:

Turning Tax Expenditures Right Side Up

April 18, 2011

The federal government spends more than $1 trillion a year on “tax expenditures” — spending delivered through the tax code via credits, deductions, and other targeted tax breaks. That’s more than it spends on Social Security, or on Medicare and Medicaid combined. There’s growing bipartisan interest in curtailing tax expenditures as a way to help reduce deficits, and if done right, it could also make the tax code more efficient and equitable, as our new report explains.

Corporate Tax Holiday an Even Worse Idea the Second Time Around

April 11, 2011

A coalition of large multinational corporations has launched a major lobbying campaign for a temporary “repatriation tax holiday” that would allow companies to bring foreign-generated profits back to the United States at a strikingly low tax rate of about 5 percent. They’re promoting the measure as a cost-free way to boost domestic investment and jobs — the same pitch that proponents used to sell Congress on a similar tax holiday enacted in 2004.

Ryan Plan’s “Path to Prosperity” Is Just for the Wealthy

April 6, 2011

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s name for his budget — “The Path to Prosperity” — is a cruel joke.