Blog Post Round-Up

August 31, 2008

  • Stagnant U.S. Business Tax System Potentially Harmful to Competitiveness: A recent study shows that while America has left the major features of its business tax system unchanged over the past fifteen years, virtually all developed nations have lowered their corporate tax rates, potentially hurting the competitiveness of the United States.
  • Higher Taxes, or Less Police and Fire Protection?: Several Indiana cities currently face some difficult budget decisions. While each city has numerous options to increase revenues or reduce expenditures, the “Washington Monument” strategy is being utilized by some local officials. Instead of looking for efficiency gains, officials simply threaten to cut or drastically reduce a service in attempts to muster support for budget increases. The National Park Service uses this strategy, suggesting it would have to reduce visiting hours at the Washington Monument without additional funding.
  • Mississippi: Regressive is Regressive is Regressive: The editorial board supports the proposal to raise cigarette taxes by 32 cents, but argues for a $1 overall increase in the per-pack tax. The editorial also calls for grocery tax relief, citing the regressive nature of sales taxes. Unfortunately, cigarette taxes also place a disproportionate burden on the poor.
  • The Internal Revenue Code Would Fit on Approx. 80 Rolls of Toilet Paper
  • California Activist Proposes Wealth Tax and Probably Unconstitutional Exit Tax: Earlier this month, a California activist began gathering signatures to put a state wealth tax on the ballot.
  • Major Party Conventions Partly Funded with Tax Dollars: The major party conventions (the Democratic one in Denver this week and the Republican one in Minneapolis next week) are in part taxpayer funded, to the tune of $17 million each (but not a major share of the total cost, which is mostly underwritten by sponsors). The funds come from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund checkoff box on the 1040 form, which we looked at in a piece earlier this summer.

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