Boehner’s Plan B Also Cuts Taxes on Rich, Raises Them on Poor

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 6:38 am

John Boehner may not even have the votes for today’s “Plan B,” a bill that effectively raises taxes on people making over $1 million a year. He was seen gladhanding on the House floor last night, whipping votes for his side. He can only lose 24 votes to reach 217 (there are a couple vacancies right now), on the expectation that he’ll get no help at all from the other side. It’s probably a heavy lift; even with Grover Norquist’s blessing, Boehner wants his GOP colleagues to walk the plank on a tax increase bill without any hope of it becoming law, just so they can go back and pass another bill that does the same thing.

A look at the bill’s particulars, however, actually inverts expectations.

 

Boehner in Bargaining Phase: Calls for Millionaire’s Bracket

By: Sunday December 16, 2012 11:50 am

House Speaker John Boehner’s latest offer sheet to the President in the fiscal slope negotiations includes an increase in tax rates on people earning $1 million a year, the first time that the Republican leader has proposed any tax rate hike. The White House, seeking rises on tax rates above $250,000, rejected the offer.

Boehner didn’t solely offer the millionaire’s bracket, he also wants social insurance cuts in exchange.

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Sunday November 11, 2012 6:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many of which must pass aside from the fiscal slope measures like the Bush tax cuts, the sequester, unemployment insurance, the payroll tax cut and the alternative minimum tax patch. The Hill rounds some of them up.

I put these in the categories of “good” and “must avoid disaster.”

Labor Income Dropped Off the Cliff Starting in 2000

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 2:55 pm

Felix Salmon enters this debate with an excellent recap of a study showing labor’s long decline in America.

Mitt Romney’s Low Tax Rate a Function of How US Treats Capital Gains and Dividends

By: Friday September 21, 2012 1:45 pm

Mitt Romney’s tax returns are now posted, along with that letter summarizing the previous 20 years of taxes. You can find them here.

Without delving too deeply into the return, I will say that Romney’s low effective tax rate is not a function entirely of Mitt Romney being a scoundrel as it is a function of the way the tax system is designed in America. None of Romney’s gross income came from wages or salaries or tips in 2011. All of it came from interest, dividends, a little business income, and capital gains.

More Romney Tax Stories Dribble Out

By: Tuesday August 28, 2012 1:00 pm

Try as they might to shift to the economy, something always gets in the way for the Romney campaign. In this case, it’s the actions of Mitt Romney throughout his life to wall off his fortune from the Internal Revenue Service and ensure a continuing Romney aristocracy for the next generation.

Democrats Support Multiple Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

By: Friday July 27, 2012 11:36 am

One problem with talking about the “Bush tax cuts” is that they incorporate much more than just the individual income tax marginal rates. Among other things, you have the changes to the estate tax. And so today, House Democrats plan to introduce an estate tax measure that would freeze the tax at 2009 levels.

Democratic Tax Cut Plan Does Expand Middle-Class and Poor Tax Cuts, Paid for By Increases on the Wealthy

By: Tuesday July 24, 2012 2:10 pm

While I’ve gone over how the Democratic and Republican tax plans scheduled to get a vote in the Senate this week are in many ways similar, I did not identify the points of difference, which are substantial in their own way, particularly in the direction that money would flow under the two plans. In particular, as Jonathan Weisman points out today, the Democratic plan picks up four tax breaks that target the lower and middle classes, held over from the stimulus, and extends them, while the Republicans allow them to expire. Overall, the Dem plan shifts tax benefits down, while the GOP plan shifts benefits up to the wealthy.

Buffett Rule to Be Filibustered Today

By: Monday April 16, 2012 1:40 pm

Today, the Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to the Buffett rule, formally known as the Paying a Fair Share Act. A filibuster is expected, about 5:30 p.m. ET. This concludes a two-week push by Senate Democratic leaders and the Obama Administration on the bill, and the larger conversation around tax fairness and the need for the rich to pay a higher amount than those in the middle class.

Buffett Rule Can Be Traversed by Tax Planning, Just Like Any Part of Our Swiss Cheese Tax Code

By: Saturday April 14, 2012 7:00 pm

I don’t have a huge problem with the Buffett rule, which will get a vote in the Senate and fail on Monday. But I do have a problem with the concept of a minimum tax based on adjusted gross income as a killer app in tax policy, rather than just raising rates and closing loopholes. To wit, high-income earners already have their tax avoidance strategies lined up.

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