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
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
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
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
In a similar spirit to Rep. Van Hollen’s plan which I covered here earlier, the President goes after wealth inequality by closing a big, bad capital gains loophole and using the revenues to help those on the wrong side of the inequality divide. Over at PostEverything.