Blog Post Round Up

October 5, 2008

  • Is Any Ol’ Tax Cut a Good Tax Cut? No.: Blunt says he was upset with groups who oppose the new “sweeteners” to the bailout bill. That’s a reference to groups like the Tax Foundation who are sick and tired of seeing taxpayers’ money funneled to special interests through the tax code. Just because those funds are mailed out by the IRS instead of Department XYZ, they earn the name “tax cut,” but that doesn’t make them any better.
  • Vice-Presidential Debate: Plenty of Errors in Tax Policy Rhetoric: The first part of tonight’s vice-presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin focused heavily on the issue of taxes. Unfortunately, like the first presidential debate, both candidates played loose with the facts.
  • Senate Approves Bailout Bill Crammed with Tax Expenditures: Andrew Leonard at salon.com looks at the litany of targeted tax credits and other spending-via-the-tax-code crammed into the now 451-page bailout bill by the Senate, which went on to pass it last night 74-25. Many of these credits, which represent the opposite of broadening the tax base and simplifying the tax code, have been kicking around for a while and proved extremely helpful at picking up otherwise recalcitrant Senators.
  • Is $1.75 the Bottom of the Housing Market?: The Associated Press reports that this beautiful (foreclosed) house in Saginaw, Michigan was sold via eBay today for $1.75 plus the obligation to pay $850 in back taxes and yard cleanup costs. (Generally, the new owner of a foreclosed property must pay any accumulated taxes and liens, in addition the purchase price.) The new owner plans to flip the property; good luck with that.
  • Tax Policy Questions for the Presidential Candidates: A few days ago, we released eight tax policy questions we have for Senators McCain and Obama.
  • Bailout Bill Would Use Tax Code to Cap Executive Pay: One part of the bailout proposal is a limit on the compensation of executives who work for bailed out companies. Participating companies who pay their executives more than $500,000 will face a tax penalty, by being unable to deduct the additional pay as an operating expense.

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