The Tax Policy Blog

August 13, 2008

Yesterday, Huffington Post columnist Robert Borosage posted an article in response to a GAO report on the issue of corporate taxes. Did Borosage read the report? Who knows? But from what he wrote, one can tell that he is yet another journalist who should more carefully check his facts and limited knowledge of the topic before writing on corporate tax policy. Here’s one example of...

Continue Reading...
August 13, 2008

In November, Maryland residents will vote on a controversy that has been brewing for years: whether to put government-run slot machines at state racetracks and other locations to raise revenue.

Groups on both sides of this debate have been very vocal (we chimed in with a still-relevant op-ed in 2005), not just in Maryland but in many other states as well. They tend to focus on two main arguments. Slots supporters emphasize the economic...

Continue Reading...
August 13, 2008

In a blockbuster new study titled "Tax and Economic Growth," economists at the Organization for International Cooperation and Development studied the effects of various types of taxes on the economic growth of developed nations within the OECD and found that "corporate taxes are found to be most harmful for growth, followed by personal income taxes, and then consumption taxes."

With respect to corporate taxes, the empirical evidence from the new OECD study suggests that "investment...

Continue Reading...
August 13, 2008

The AP has issued a correction of the corporate taxation story we criticized yesterday.  The story had erroneously claimed that 25% of U.S. corporations paying no income tax in 2005 met the GAO's definition of a "large" corporation.  (The actual proportion was 0.28%).  The corrected version of the AP story is...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

Governor David Paterson proposed roughly $1 billion in budget cuts to resolve New York State's current budget crisis. The state legislature will consider the proposal during an emergency session focused on the $6.4 billion deficit.

The New York Times reports the Governor's proposals...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

The Tax Foundation's Patrick Fleenor made an appearance in a Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday on cigarette taxes and smuggling:

Maryland is only the latest state to prove the folly of trying to finance government with a tax on a shrinking pool of smokers. In New York City and State, tobacco taxes have been raised so many times that the retail cost can exceed $9 a pack...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

The GAO has a report out today on corporations with zero corporate income tax liability.  The upshot of the AP's digest of the report is that corporations pay no taxes while their executives dine on grilled human flesh with béarnaise sauce, or something.

Unfortunately, the AP's account is based in part on a serious misreading of one of the report's tables.  The AP notes:

About...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

The draft 2008 Democratic Party platform plank on taxes was leaked last week. It reads:

Restoring Fairness to our Tax Code
We must reform our tax code. It's thousands of pages long, a monstrosity that high-priced lobbyists have rigged with page after page of special interest loopholes and tax shelters. We will shut down the corporate loopholes and tax havens...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

An AP story posted yesterday analyzes one component of Sen. Obama's tax plan, which is to exempt all seniors who make less than $50,000 from having to pay federal income tax. The theme of the article is that tax policy experts agree it is bad tax policy. It's a gimmick, just like Sen. Obama (correctly) labeled John McCain's gas tax holiday.

The article also explains how there would likely have to be...

Continue Reading...
August 12, 2008

This post is part of our ongoing Austan Goolsbee cognitive dissonance watch.

Austan Goolsbee, economic advisor to Barack Obama, has been given the unenviable assignment of defending the indefensible.  Last week, the Obama campaign sent him on cable news to defend the windfall profits tax as an economically sensible idea rather than the destructive gimmick that it is. ...

Continue Reading...
August 11, 2008

In its "Ask Dow Jones" column this week, the Wall Street Journal's Tom Sherman answers a reader question pertaining to whether Barack Obama would subject sales of homes to capital gains taxation. Most are currently exempt from taxation.

In the article, Sherman quotes Obama economic advisor Jason Furman, who rightly points out that such a falsehood has been spreading as part of a...

Continue Reading...
August 11, 2008

Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee wrote this paper back in 1997, which leads us to ask what, if anything, can Sen. Obama do to prevent such tax planning from taking place under his proposed tax hikes on high-income individuals. Here's Goolsbee's abstract:

What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation

This paper reexamines the responsiveness of...

Continue Reading...
August 11, 2008

When I wrote about Barack Obama's windfall profits tax proposal last week, I described it as "a tax on oil sold over the arbitrary price of $80 per barrel."  Like the Carter-era WPT, such a tax isn't really a tax on profits at all—it's a gross tax on production, better categorized as an excise tax.  However, since then, both the ...

Continue Reading...
August 08, 2008

As any faithful reader of the Tax Foundation blog knows, our current tax system leaves much to be desired. The loopholes, the hidden taxes, the high rates, and the complexity are just some of its serious problems. However, our tax system has seen some improvements in the last 60 years, as a recent article by Professor J. Giertz of the University of Illinois,...

Continue Reading...
August 08, 2008

A new ad that is out from John McCain attacks Barack Obama for wanting to "raise taxes on the middle class," "raise taxes on seniors," and "raise taxes on small business." While I won't digress into the obvious question of why these three groups of people are any more important than others when it comes to tax policy, it's worth asking the question of how true this ad's claim is.

Like most political ads, the statements are technically true. Obama would raise some taxes on some...

Continue Reading...

Pages

Follow Us

About the Tax Policy Blog

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.

Monthly Archive