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

By: Friday April 13, 2012 10:15 am

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. [...]

Romney Offers Large Tax Cut Plans

By: Wednesday February 22, 2012 1:37 pm

So Mitt Romney released his new tax cut plan in advance of tonight’s Republican debate. As expected, it makes severe cuts to overall tax rates, particularly for those in the top bracket. Mitt Romney released a new tax plan Wednesday that calls for a 20 percent across-the-board cut to individual tax rates. Romney would also [...]

Obama Administration Would Tax Dividends at Same Rate as Top Earnings

By: Monday February 13, 2012 8:59 am

I’m loath to dive into the numbers of the Administration’s FY 2013 budget, because it won’t be used as anyone’s baseline, and to the extent that it will, that was baked into the cake by the debt limit deal. If you want the hard numbers, the surprisingly best source I’ve found comes from the Guardian. [...]

Whitehouse to Introduce Buffett Rule Legislation on Wednesday

By: Monday January 30, 2012 10:27 am

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse plans to introduce the “Paying a Fair Share Act” on Wednesday. The bill follows the contours of what President Obama laid out as “the Buffett rule” in his State of the Union address. The bill would set a second alternative minimum tax for millionaires, essentially, at 30%. So after taxpayers with over [...]

Other Bits and Pieces on the State of the Union

By: Wednesday January 25, 2012 1:16 pm

Let’s briefly go through a few of the other proposals in last night’s State of the Union Address, none of which will come to pass this year if they include an act of Congress, but which offer some insights regardless: • The broader mortgage refi plan: HARP 2 is already operative, and Fannie and Freddie [...]

Romney’s Offshoring Less the Problem than the Historically Low Capital Gains Tax Rate

By: Thursday January 19, 2012 7:02 am

The ABC News report that came out last night about “Mitt Romney’s offshore tax havens” appears to get the data wrong, so you end up with a muddled analysis of the situation. What is actually happening here, as Pat Garofalo untangles, is that Romney invests in funds from his old company Bain Capital that happen [...]

Romney’s Effective Tax Rate an Argument for Higher Taxes on Capital Gains

By: Tuesday January 17, 2012 11:33 am

I agree with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley that Mitt Romney’s time as governor deserves as much scrutiny as his Bain Capital days. And on that score, Democrats are telling a story about Massachusetts’ woeful job creation record – 47th out of the 50 states – in Romney’s one term. But Romney is running on his [...]

Income Inequality Driven By Slashes to Capital Gains Tax Rate

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 1:40 pm

The Congressional Research Service declined a vacation in favor of whipping up a report on the major causes of inequality, which Jared Bernstein summarizes here. The report does find that income inequality is in part a function of the Bush tax cuts, and I’m unsure how it accounts for the higher salaries granted to executives [...]

One Family, Six Heirs, $69.7 Billion

By: Friday December 9, 2011 9:35 am

The Walton family, the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, provide an object lesson on income inequality. The math is pretty stark. This one family holds as much wealth as the bottom 30% of all Americans. The triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is one of the best sources for data on wealth in the U.S. [...]

Buffett Rule Not Really A Rule

By: Thursday September 22, 2011 8:15 am

The “Buffett rule,” the principle that a millionaire should never pay a lower rate of tax than his or her secretary or anyone else working in the middle class, has excited many on the left. There is a legitimate issue of effective middle class tax rates being higher than a non-trivial segment of the millionaire [...]

Effectiveness of Buffett Rule Depends on How It Manifests Itself

By: Wednesday September 21, 2011 9:30 am

The zeal for fact-checking in the traditional media has gotten so intense that they have now taken to fact-checking principles. Glenn Kessler gives the “Buffett rule” this treatment, even while acknowledging that the deficit reduction plan “never really explains what that means, and administration officials have refused to lay out any detailed proposal.” We don’t [...]

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