The Tax Policy Blog

September 11, 2008

It is frustrating that many reporters throughout this campaign continue to lack a basic understanding of the U.S. tax system and tax policy in general, yet many report on it as if they hold CPAs or Ph.Ds. (See our discussion earlier this week about one media personality's economic "brilliance.")

Look no further than Joe Klein's blog post today saying...

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September 11, 2008

 

While I was in Raleigh for the lottery case, one of my colleagues accidentally shattered the jar of jellybeans on my desk. She's already graciously ordered a new one for me, and it's on its way now....

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September 11, 2008

Same error as Joe Klein made. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Sen. Biden made an explicit error in a speech he made on Tuesday talking about McCain's health care plan. However, the article describes an explicit error, whereas if you watch the video, it's more of either economic ignorance or a complete lack of faith in the labor market to properly reward workers:

Here's what the Post-Dispatch said:

But taxing...

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September 11, 2008

It is maddening. If you're not going to take the time to understand the basics of the standard 1040 (income, adjustments, exemptions, deductions, tax rates, credits and payments), then stop writing about it (if you're a journalist) or stop bragging about your tax policies to the general public (if you're a politician).

Earlier today we documented how Joe Klein and Joe Biden are misleading the American public...

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September 10, 2008

The Tax Foundation today announced a new YouTube video contest aimed primarily at students and young professionals as part of its CompeteUSA campaign to raise awareness of America's high business tax rates and how those taxes have an impact on our competitiveness, wages, and living standards. The winner will earn $5,000 while second and third prize winners will receive $1,000 and $500...

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September 10, 2008

Greg Mankiw made a post yesterday examining the likelihood that the Bush tax cuts for high income earners (those in the top two tax brackets) will expire even if John McCain wins the presidential election. Mankiw looked at auction results from Intrade showing an 87% chance that the top income tax...

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September 10, 2008

The Obama campaign and many in the leftist blogosphere are in the process of pulling a John McCain on tax policy: don't tell the whole truth about your opponent's tax plan.

Today in a speech in Kansas City, Joe Biden said, "They want to tax your health-care benefits; I am not making this up."

While it's true that McCain's plan would tax the value of employer-provided health insurance (as it should be under...

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September 09, 2008

Taxes are one of the big issues on the campaign trail this week. Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama considered the merits of keeping the 2001-03 tax cuts in place until they expire in 2010 rather than rescinding them immediately; Republican nominee Sen. John McCain characterized his view...

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September 09, 2008

Economic ignorance was on display last night on the O'Reilly Factor as O'Reilly took on Barack Obama on the issue of the economy and tax policy. O'Reilly, the same man who claimed he would find that one guy who set the price of gasoline, said last night that the Bush tax cuts have actually increased revenue, and that THE reason real wages have fallen for most Americans in the past few years is illegal immigration. Here are some...

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September 09, 2008

Yesterday the McCain – Palin campaign was approved to receive $84.1 million in public funding from the Federal Election Commission’s Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF). In doing so, they forfeit the right to raise money through private donations. Obama announced in June that his campaign would not receive public funding, relying instead on...

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September 09, 2008

From the IRS website:

IR-2008-103, Sept. 9, 2008

WASHINGTON - People who are awaiting an economic stimulus payment or who have yet to file can avoid common errors that may delay their payment. They also can use the IRS Web site to answer most common questions.

The Internal Revenue Service, which is still issuing economic stimulus payments, has been studying trends and common issues in...

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September 08, 2008

If ever U.S. lawmakers need another reminder that our corporate tax rates are out of step with the rest of the world, the Swedish government announced plans to cut their corporate tax rate in 2009 to 26.5 percent from the current level of 28 percent in order to improve its business climate relative to other European nations.

In the English edition of the Swedish newspaper The Local,...

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September 08, 2008

While reading some commentary on the Freddie and Fannie news, I ran into this story from the Washingtonian Magazine from six years ago that foreshadowed the current mess and told of the arrogance of Fannie Mae's leadership and some of those in Congress that think maximizing homeownership is the most important role for government, whatever the costs. Do you remember Pres. Bush in his SOTU address citing...

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September 08, 2008

Brad DeLong provides us with a nice summary of the deal reached over the weekend:

OK. Here is what is going on:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac give the Treasury each 80% of their (common) stock and $1B (each).

The Treasury promises to keep Fannie and Freddie solvent according to GAAP by lending it money at 10% per year.

...
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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.

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