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Budget

  • How to Fix the $960 Billion Budget Deficit

    The decrease in the federal budget deficit has been touted as an accomplishment by many—most recently by President Obama during his State of the Union Address—but America’s debt situation is far from resolved. The deficit for the 2014 calendar year fell to its lowest level since 2007 due to a $2 billion surplus in December, according to a Department of Treasury report published on January 13th. The government ended 2014 with a total calendar year deficit of $488 billion, $300 billion higher than its 2007 deficit

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  • Obama is Decidedly Unserious With His Tax-Increase Plans

    You have to hand it to President Obama.

    Despite Democrats’ loss of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2014, as well as the loss of 16 statehouses and 10 governorships since Obama’s election in 2008, he keeps advocating for tax increases.

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  • Raising Taxes on Capital Hurts the Middle Class

    In his Tuesday State of the Union address, President Obama will propose raising top tax rates on capital gains and dividends to 28 percent, up from the current rate of 24 percent. Prior to 2013, the rate was 15 percent. Mr. Obama seeks to practically double capital gains and dividend taxes during the course of his presidency, a step that would have negative effects on investment and economic growth.  

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  • And the Oscar for “Best Tax Break” Goes to…

    The Oscar nominations are in. Though the nominated films include diverse titles such as American Sniper, Boyhood, and the Grand Budapest Hotel, they all have something in common. All eight films received generous government handouts, financed by taxpayers, during production. These handouts come in the form of film tax credits.  

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  • Warning: Disability Insurance Is Hitting the Wall

    For years Social Security’s trustees (of which I am one) have warned that lawmakers must act to address the troubled finances of the program’s disability insurance (DI) trust fund.   Congress has nearly run out of time to do so.  

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  • The next two years are sure to feature myriad claims that rising income inequality has hurt the middle class, necessitating liberal policies to pull down the top. Invariably, these claims convey overly negative impressions of how the middle class is doing, omit important contextual details, exaggerate the extent to which inequality has risen, or otherwise present an inaccurate case that inequality is the source of all our troubles. 

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  • Keystone XL and two other things that won’t happen in 2015

    Columnists and bloggers are spewing lists of what will happen in 2015, what should happen in 2015 and what Congress’ priorities should be for 2015. It’s far easier to say what won’t happen in 2015.

    We won’t spend hours watching the World Cup or the Olympics because they aren’t happening in 2015. Most of us won’t spend Tuesday, Nov. 3, waiting for election returns, although citizens of Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana will elect governors and state representatives, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will find out if he has won reelection

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  • The Rich Pay More than Their Fair Share of Taxes

    It seems so long ago, but the central point of contention in the 2012 presidential race was over the question of whether the rich pay their fair share of taxes. As President Obama argued, “Those who have done well, including me, should pay our fair share in taxes to contribute to the nation that made our success possible.  We shouldn’t get a better deal than ordinary families.

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  • Why Breaking Up (the Tax Code) Is So Hard to Do

    Everyone wants tax reform. At least we pays lip service to the idea that the U.S. economy would be better off with lower rates, a simpler code, and fewer loopholes. Yet something everyone claims to support has proved elusive time and again. Why?

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  • Picking the Right CBO Director

    With the term of current Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Doug Elmendorf expiring, incoming House Budget Committee chairman Tom Price, along with soon-to-be-named Senate Budget Committee chairman Mike Enzi, will need to choose the agency’s next director.  I am confident the eventual choice will be strongly credentialed and capable.  

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