Tax Exemption for Mortgage Debt Relief Still Not Extended, Future Hopes Dim

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 6:23 am

The not-all-that-possible reduction or elimination of the mortgage interest deduction has set the hair of many a journalist on fire. Many of them have homes and benefit from that deduction, after all. And they cannot escape the fact that, if Republicans tell them that deductions have to be targeted instead of rates – which is [...]

The Fate of Energy Policy in the Lame Duck Session

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 8:30 am

I don’t think the late-in-the-game bid for a carbon tax will come to pass, but energy policy will become critical in the coming weeks, with expiring measures and controversial subsidies up for bid. The biggest threat to our energy future in the near term – and that’s not much of a hyperbole – is the [...]

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Friday November 9, 2012 7:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many [...]

Fiscal Cliff Talks Convene in Washington

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 10:56 am

Members of Congress and the White House have begun to hold more serious talks on the fiscal cliff (actually, fiscal slope is the better term for it, as the fiscal contraction does not all hit right away). Predictably, the talks are focusing on Bush tax cuts, even though the automatic spending cuts and the payroll [...]

Romney: Delay the Trigger Cuts

By: Saturday August 4, 2012 7:51 am

There was a big breakthrough in the Presidential race, with implications for US fiscal policy, that sort of slipped by unnoticed on a Friday in August. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, argued for a one-year delay in the trigger, the automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending set to go at the end of [...]

Tax Extenders Pass Senate Finance Committee

By: Friday August 3, 2012 6:58 am

Lori Montgomery’s story on yesterday’s tax extenders vote in the Senate Finance Committee is kind of aggressively stupid, the kind of story that uses funny-sounding tax breaks as the basis for an anti-Congress pose. In reality those funny-sounding tax breaks amount to a rounding error in the overall budget. Most of the tax extender package, [...]

House Passes One-Year Extension of Bush Tax Cuts

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 7:40 am

Yesterday the House put themselves on the record on the Bush tax cuts, ensuring that the issue will extend into the lame duck session and that the election, in large part, will determine the course of action. The House approved a one-year extension of all the Bush tax cut rates, rejecting a Democratic bill already [...]

Congress Moving to Wrap Up Budget, Farm Bill With Short-Term Extensions

By: Friday July 27, 2012 10:55 am

With conservatives in retreat, it does look like we’ll get a six-month stopgap spending bill that will put off any budget hostage-taking until next March, when the character of Congress may change dramatically because of the elections. Politico advances the ball on that story today. Apparently, House Republicans figured out that they have to stand [...]

Senate Tries Moving Tax Extenders Package Before Election

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 8:55 am

The fiscal slope has several component parts, but one of the more overlooked ones is the series of what is colloquially known as “tax extenders,” those one-year tax breaks, usually for businesses, that are habitually extended. There’s a very good reason that these are only extended one year at a time – if you want [...]

Ethanol Subsidy Set to Expire

By: Friday December 23, 2011 9:35 am

Sometimes it’s good when expiring measures expire. Case in point: while Congress wrapped up business today by extending the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and a doctor’s fix, they neglected a host of other expiring tax measures. I mentioned some of the more disappointing expirations, including production tax credits for wind power, and subsidies to [...]

Wind, Solar, Mass Transit Threatened By Expiring Year-End Measures

By: Tuesday December 20, 2011 12:14 pm

The President showed up unscheduled at a White House briefing today to excoriate House Republicans for fouling up a Senate deal on a stopgap measure to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a doctor’s reimbursement fix. He said that ‚ÄúThis is not poker, this is not a game for the millions of Americans [...]

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