Who benefits from tax subsidies for municipal bonds? It's not as obvious as you think. High-income investors benefit, yes, but depending on what state and local government do with the subsidies, there may also be benefits for low-tax brackets.
Some commentators have proposed that the 'McConnell rule', which would allow the President to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, become law. Gleckman argues these proposals illogical and instead argues that Congress ought to be mandated to finance all spending decisions that they approve.
When it comes to deficit reduction, cuts to familiar social programs such as Medicare, Social Security and college loans are often regarded as "untouchable." Gleckman reminds us that there is an additional $1 trillion-plus in tax subsidies that are also often seen as entitlements and are thus dismissed from discussions surrounding spending cuts. Gleckman argues these tax subsidies inefficient and claims that a restructuring of these subsidies could greatly reduce our deficit.
Many argue that the short-term deal to reopen the government and reauthorize Treasury borrowing buys time but does nothing to change Washington’s toxic culture. But Congress and President Obama could reach a mini-bargain that would at least take the edge off the current ugliness, Gleckman writes.
If the agreement reached yesterday sticks, Congress has just shuttered much of the federal government for more than two weeks and risked a market-shattering federal default in order to convene a meeting of budget negotiators.
House Republicans have tentatively agreed on a plan to extend the debt limit for about six weeks while keeping the government partially shuttered. But the deal would only briefly put off what has become an ugly and dangerous confrontation over the nation’s ability to pay its bills, Gleckman writes.
The dollar is the world's reserve currency because the U.S. has the world's biggest economy, yes, but also because investors need not worry about political risk. But with the deadline to raise the debt-limit fast approaching and no compromise in sight, is the U.S. losing its reputation as a safe investment?
The debt limit 'debate' is not about limiting the size of government, entitlement reforms, or tax reform. Instead, Republicans in Congress are yet again debating whether Congress should authorize the government to pay for spending—wait for it—that Congress has already authorized the government to undertake.
Government shutdowns could well become a standard part of the annual budget process, Gleckman writes. If government shutdowns become routine, attention-seeking lawmakers will only escalate their threats.
As a potential government shutdown approaches, House Republicans consider adding a framework for tax reform to legislation needed to increase the federal government’s borrowing authority. Gleckman explores what a GOP tax reform proposal could like, arguing it counterproductive.
New estimates released by the Tax Policy Center show the number of Social Security and Medicare taxpayers is growing. Even among those households that will not pay federal income tax this year, the majority will still owe Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.
With a hike in the estate tax exemption, estate tax lawyers are running out of work, Gleckman writes.
Here's an interesting but little known problem with the federal income tax system: People who have tax withheld from their paychecks but, for some reason, don’t file returns. For many, ignoring their 1040 means they are paying tax they don’t owe.
State-legal marijuana producers and retailers are seeking to take advantage of deductions they are now denied under their ambiguous legal status. But some may want to get into the tax system just so they can harvest the many generous deductions it offers.
In Washington's current dysfunctional atmosphere, attempts at real tax reform are likely to get lost in the cacophony, Gleckman writes. But for many in Washington, replacing serious debate with loud short-term squabbles over phony fiscal crises is exactly the idea.
A new paper aims to stitch together a retirement plan that combines the growth potential of a 401(k) with the security of a defined benefit pension plan.
Cutting tax rates is a good idea in theory, but it is very, very difficult to pull off, Gleckman says.
It's not pretty. To offset the cost of tax reform, Congress may have to eliminate trillions of dollars in tax preferences for individuals and businesses. Gleckman walks readers through who's saying what on the topic right now.
Wages account for less than half of a US household's income. Surprised? Gleckman breaks down where the rest of your money comes from.
President Barack Obama proposed cutting corporate tax rates and using the revenue to generate jobs. Republicans shut it down. Is the tax reform battle stuck at an impasse?