Archive for the ‘Tax Policy’ Category

The 529 microcosm: a revealing political train wreck re an inefficient tax break

January 28th, 2015

This little train wreck over the White House’s proposal and then retraction of a plan to cut back on a wasteful yet beloved tax benefit is highly instructive. It’s a clear example of how much hot air there is in these fiscal debates, where policy makers and pundits scold everyone within earshot of the need… Read more

A bit of nuance on gas tax polling

January 23rd, 2015

I was talking with a friend about how with gas prices so low, this would be a good time to phase in a slight increase in the federal gas tax—stuck at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993—when he pointed out that the idea polls terribly. So I looked into that and found that the story… Read more

1) The deficit is down because of less spending and more revenues 2) themes in tax reform to worry about.

January 22nd, 2015

The picture I’m about to show you is not a shocker if you follow this sort of thing but I made it for a presentation this AM and damnit, I’m gonna use it! It shows federal gov’t spending and receipts since 2007, in dollars adjusted for both inflation and population growth. The deficit/GDP ratio’s in… Read more

Blast from Past: The Capital Gains Tax Rate Doesn’t Correlate With Investment

January 20th, 2015

What with the President ready to announce both a higher tax rate on cap gains–28%, up from 24%, and the same rate that prevailed under Reagan–I was reminded of the conclusion of University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod, a leading expert in this sort of thing, that “there is no evidence that links aggregate economic performance… Read more