The Tax Policy Blog

August 14, 2008

In an editorial posted on its website, the New York Sun argued that Sen. Barack Obama is waging a “war on women,” partly due to his tax policies. The paper says the following:

Meanwhile, the most astonishing sentence in the op-ed (referring to Furman/Goolsbee op-ed) is this one: "His plan would not raise any taxes on couples making less than $250,000 a year, nor on any single person with income...

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August 14, 2008

Today's Wall Street Journal op-ed by Senator Obama's chief economic advisors, Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee, outlines much of the senator's tax platform and makes a number of claims that are not completely consistent with the evidence or the facts. Just a few points:

  • Top tax rate: Senator Obama would raise the top individual tax rate back to 39.6 percent,...
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August 14, 2008

The Furman-Goolsbee WSJ op-ed which my colleague Bob discusses below provides a general overview of the Obama tax plan, and as he notes, it leaves some unanswered questions about the proposals it discusses.  It also entirely omits mention of two significant Obama tax proposals...

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August 13, 2008

Yesterday we criticized the errors in an Associated Press story about a recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that many U.S. corporations had no corporate tax liability from 1998-2005. The study had been requested by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who immediately seized it as evidence of widespread corporate tax evasion:

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August 13, 2008

On Townhall.com yesterday, Michele Bachmann wrote a blog post that implied correlation between those states whose Tax Freedom Days were later in 2008 with the existence of Right to Work laws in a state. Such an analysis, unfortunately, misses the point.

Don't get me wrong. There are legitimate arguments to be made against many labor market regulations. (There's no such thing as a free lunch.)...

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August 13, 2008

Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge this morning released the latest Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact in response to a new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The OECD study shows that for the 17th consecutive year, the average rate of corporate taxes in non-U.S. countries fell while the U.S. corporate tax rate stayed the same.

As a result of the U.S. failure to lower its corporate tax rate for more than two decades while other major...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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