Blog Post Round-Up

September 7, 2008

  • Memo to Charlie Rangel: Form 1040, Line 17; Schedule E (Rental Income): The New York Post (with beach pics) and New York Times are reporting that the most powerful tax-law writer in the world, House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, has not reported on his tax return rental income that the veteran congressman has earned from his rental unit in the Dominican Republic.
  • Tax Foundation Expands CompeteUSA Campaign with CNN Ad and YouTube Video: A few weeks ago the Tax Foundation launched the CompeteUSA campaign to raise the public’s awareness of the ways America’s high business tax rates affect our competitiveness, wages, and living standards. The Tax Foundation has expanded the CompeteUSA campaign to include an ad on CNN, which first ran on Sept. 1 and will continue for three weeks.
  • Governor Palin Talks Tax Incidence Too: But the tax plans of the two candidates relative to current policy can basically be summarized as follows. Obama: large deficits; focus tax cuts on lump-sum transfers to anyone he doesn’t consider rich. McCain: even larger deficits; focus tax cuts on overall economic growth.
  • Thoughts on Why the U.S. Supreme Court Doesn’t Stop State Tax Overreaching: In short, the Court’s “liberals” are unwilling to interfere with what they view as the proper role for states, and the Court’s “conservatives” are unwilling to interfere with what they view as the proper role for Congress. I think it’s an apt characterization; I would just add that two justices may think differently on this issue. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito, in their dissent in the Kentucky v. Davis case, suggest that they aren’t willing to give states a free ride to discriminate at will.
  • How About a Tax on Sex?: We’ve all heard that cigarettes are bad for us and for society as a whole and should therefore be taxed. Many people also believe that certain sexual behavior is bad for individuals and society, so why not tax it as well?

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