The Tax Policy Blog

October 05, 2007

In what could be a short term stay-of-execution, the Cook County Commissioners were deadlocked this week, eight votes for and eight against a two percentage point increase in the county-wide sales tax rate.

Read previous blogs on the Cook...

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October 03, 2007

Last week, Hillary Clinton suggested that giving a $5,000 bond to each child upon birth would be a policy that she would support. Others have suggested this in the past. Here's the NY Daily News summary of the Republican response:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's plan to give every newborn a $5,000 bond, money meant to defray college costs when the kids hit...

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October 03, 2007

In a rare use of the veto pen by the Bush administration that has already sent labels of "heartless" his way from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, sound tax policy has been preserved. Regardless of whether or not SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, should be expanded, choosing one group of Americans to fund it -- smokers -- is terrible tax policy and has no business in a free society.

If members of Congress want...

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October 02, 2007

Today, Congressman David Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a vocal critic of the current war in Iraq, has put forth a proposal to impose a war tax on the American people. From Fox News:

A top Democratic congressman, saying Democrats "have had it with being maneuvered and jerked around" on the war in Iraq, offered another approach Tuesday to change the course of funding for the...

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October 01, 2007

The Washington Post's Amy Gardner did a terrific job digging up evidence of high-income people living in public housing in the Washington area. The article focused on Fairfax County, Virginia, the capital area's most populous county and one where the average income is quite high in national comparisons.

She quite properly gave the director of the county program a chance to...

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October 01, 2007

In what could be the final nail in the coffin for the Michigan economy, lawmakers passed a tax hike of $1.35 billion by expanding the sales tax to some services and increasing the income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent. See articles...

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September 28, 2007

An article by Lorne Gunter in Canada's National Post on Monday reiterates what we already know: a higher corporate tax rate will lead to decreased investment and productivity and cause capital outflow as companies move their operations to countries with lower taxes. Gunter had this to say:

While the U.K. is committed to reducing its corporate tax rate...

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September 28, 2007

George Washington University Professor David Brunori had this to say to those in Georgia contemplating elimination of property taxes in the state: local governments will be essentially powerless. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

He would replace the lost revenue (only $8 billion) with state...

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September 27, 2007

Janet Novack has a terrific article in Forbes Magazine on how tax credits have become the new way for politicians in both parties to spend, spend, spend...albeit in a way that is designed to look like a tax cut. From Forbes Magazine:

In these divisive days, politicians of all stripes do seem to agree on one thing--tax breaks are the best (or at least, most...

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September 27, 2007

The taxpayer movement lost a dear friend and staunch champion today with the sudden passing of John Berthoud, President of the National Taxpayer's Union. On behalf of all of us at the Tax Foundation, I want to extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to John's family and NTU colleagues. John's innate goodness earned him the deepest loyalty of his staff. His conviction and determination to defend American taxpayers earned him the admiration of thousands of NTU supporters. For those...

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September 27, 2007

A member of the Michigan legislature has proposed taxing the health benefits that employees receive as part of their compensation, thereby making the income tax system more neutral. From the Detroit Free Press:

In a possible first, individuals would pay state income tax on health benefits from their employers under one...

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September 27, 2007

At last night's Democrat presidential debate, moderator Tim Russert asked the candidates what they would do about Social Security if elected. Russert pointed out that, in the near future, either benefits would have to be slashed in half or taxes doubled to sustain Social Security as it presently exists.

John Edwards posed this question in response:

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September 26, 2007

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle is hard to figure out when it comes to tax policy. His idea of sound tax policy appears to be his picking and choosing who he likes and who he doesn't like and forming tax policy based upon that.

The governor doesn't like smokers as he has repeatedly called for excessive cigarette tax hikes in the state. This past year, he called for a special tax on oil companies (that could somehow not legally be...

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September 26, 2007

The U.S. House voted yesterday to raise the federal cigarette tax to fund an expansion of SCHIP, the children's health program. More from CNN.COM:

A showdown between Congressional Democrats and the White House over children's health insurance is clouding the outlook of a proposed $36 billion tobacco tax hike.
The House is expected to vote on...

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September 25, 2007

Last week, the Tax Foundation filed amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases:

- Staff IT, Inc. v. United States (07-221) - The Tax Foundation's brief supports Staff IT, Inc.'s effort to have its case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the lower court ruling stands, the brief argues, "troubled small business that owe taxes and creditors will end up...

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