Lunch Links: Trump and Clinton Campaigns Leave Lots to the Imagination on Taxes; Bipartisan Support for Fairer, Simpler Tax Code; Why Supporters of a Carbon Tax Oppose Its Passage on Washington Ballot

November 4, 2016

Today is November 4, the birthday of actor, cowboy, and social commentator Will Rogers (1879-1935). Rogers once said, “The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.”

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Clinton Silent on Business Taxes: #1 on The Washington Post’s list of five unknowns about Hillary Clinton is how she’d pay for her five-year $275 billion infrastructure spending plan. The pay-for is “business tax reform.” There are details on ending oil company tax breaks but those don’t add up to close that amount. Clinton also promises to limit child care expenses to 10 percent of a family’s income, but there are no details on how that would work. (The Washington Post)

Trump Silent on Pass-Through Tax Rate and Middle-Class Tax Increases: Donald Trump proposes cutting small business taxes to 15 percent, but since that’s about half the income tax rate, rules will be set up to stop small businesses from taking advantage of the lower rate. So there will be a lower rate but no one can take advantage of it? It’s a $1 trillion mystery. On tax increases on middle-income earners, Trump’s campaign says it will ask Congress to prevent any increases in individual cases. (The Washington Post)

Clinton and Trump Silent on State Tax: Bloomberg BNA mentions the stuff the presidential candidates haven’t taken a position on: state taxation of out-of-state Internet retailers, state taxation of interstate business travel, taxes on digital goods, the federal exemption for municipal bonds, and state unfunded pension liabilities. Clinton’s spokesman says they’re not going into specifics at this time, and Trump’s campaign didn’t respond. (Bloomberg BNA)

Trump Tax Return Revelations Re-Ignite Tax Reform Talk: Some bipartisan complaints have emerged from the presidential campaign. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) says Trump’s ability to get out of tax obligations that others have to pay has left people upset. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) says Americans want a fairer and simpler tax code. (The New York Times)

Georgia Competitiveness and Tax Ranking: My colleague Morgan Scarboro responds to comments from Gov. Deal (R) on the state’s low ranking on our State Business Tax Climate Index. (Tax Foundation)

Mythbusting on Nebraska’s Taxes: The Platte Institute explains the relationship between taxation and migration, why improving the way taxes are collected is important, what went wrong in Kansas, and the proper mix of Nebraska’s taxes. (Platte Institute for Economic Research)

The Unlikely Battle to Pass the Washington Carbon Tax: Wired covers the bitter fight over I-732, with many expected supporters of the ballot initiative opposing it because it doesn’t create “a pot of money that could be controlled by local communities to reduce emissions, create jobs, and lower pollution in communities of color.” (Wired)

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