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. [...]

Mishel: Obama Trying to “Pre-empt Very Awful Things By Doing Awful Things”

By: Thursday February 10, 2011 9:40 am

Responding to the Obama Administration’s apparent decision to cut Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding, Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute says that progressives “are losing the argument at a higher level” about the budget in general, putting all programs and services at risk. The fundamental problem, Mishel says, is a spending [...]

Tax Cut Bill Moves to the President

By: Friday December 17, 2010 6:20 am

Just to mop this up, last night around midnight, the House of Representatives gave final passage to the tax cut bill. The final roll call vote on the “Airport and Airway Extension Act,” the name of the shell bill used as a vehicle to move the legislation, was 277-148. Democrats wound up supporting the bill [...]

House Passes Rule for Debate on Tax Cut Bill; Final Votes Expected Tonight

By: Thursday December 16, 2010 4:31 pm

The House just passed the rule for debate on the tax cut bill, by the count of 214-201. This rule was pulled from the floor earlier today, but that was apparently due to a large kabuki dance by liberal Democrats. They wanted to be able to vote against the underlying bill even if their amendment [...]

Tax Cut Deal Heads Toward Inevitable Conclusion

By: Thursday December 16, 2010 7:20 am

The House will take up the tax cut bill today, and there’s little drama in the proceedings. The bill’s going to pass, probably as written. The President was reportedly leaning hard on Democratic lawmakers who he wanted to vote for the package, actually saying that failure would result in the end of his presidency. Just [...]

Inequality, Wealth Concentration, PR and the Finance Lobby

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 12:04 pm

Tyler Cowen is generally a conservative economist, but even he sees some disquiet in the recent run-up of inequality. Sure, he wants to dismiss most of the concerns, using the familiar “But everyone has a TV now!” fall-back, but he does note the skyrocketing increase in total compensation among the top 1%, and relates almost [...]

Writing on the Wall on Tax Cut Deal

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 7:38 am

Sherrod Brown has come out in support of the tax cut legislation which will get a final vote this afternoon. He was one of the only 15 to vote against cloture on the bill on Monday. Basically, you’re going to get a near-unanimous majority in the Senate when final passage comes later today. The House [...]

As Senate Sets Up to Pass Tax Cut Bill, House Blows Hot Air

By: Tuesday December 14, 2010 8:40 am

After an 83-15 vote on the motion to proceed in the Senate, final passage could apparently come as soon as today. Tom Coburn, who voted no, isn’t typically willing to cede all the post-cloture time to speed things along, and he could hold out until Friday if he so chose, but the indications are that [...]

Unanswered Questions of the Tax Cut Deal

By: Monday December 13, 2010 2:02 pm

That cloture vote is still open at the moment, but the Senate will move to advance the health care bill today. They already have close to 70 votes in favor. With that kind of support, passage is assured. But while there’s no question of that, other questions abound: • Will the Senate allow amendments? As [...]

The State of the Tax Cut Deal

By: Monday December 13, 2010 6:29 am

The reason some of us were insistent that what Bernie Sanders was doing on Friday was not really a filibuster was that it did nothing to stop or even slow down the advance of the tax cut bill. Today, the Senate will hold the first cloture vote, on the motion to proceed, and it’s expected [...]

Estate Tax Reduction Will Impact Many State Budgets

By: Friday December 10, 2010 7:22 am

The tax bill in the Senate has the same estate tax provisions, as expected. They are retroactive and would cover 2010, although individual estates can “elect to choose no estate tax and modified carryover basis” in the calendar year 2010. The bill makes it easier to carry over unused portions of the exemption (now $5 [...]

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