Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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On May 3, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the distribution of federal taxes and benefits.

Also on May 3, Sen. Orrin Hatch released new data from the Joint Committee on Taxation showing that 51 percent of tax filers paid no federal income taxes in 2009.

On April 28, the International Monetary Fund published a working paper which found that increases in corporate taxes led to increases in debt finance by corporations.

An April 26 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that 95 percent of taxpayers would receive no benefit from the House Republican tax plan because it would cut taxes only for the wealthy.

Also on April 26, the Tax Foundation published a study on the tax burden on multinational corporations. It notes that commentary on this subject often omits the fact that they pay a substantial amount of taxes to foreign countries as well as the U.S.

An April 25 USC/Los Angeles Times poll of Californians found that by about a 2-to-1 margin voters favor raising taxes to deal with the state’s budget problems over cutting spending alone. They also oppose cutting large programs such as higher education and support cutting only trivial things such as state cars and cell phones for public employees.

An April 22 New York Times/CBS News poll found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit. It also found that 66 percent of people believe tax increases will be necessary to reduce the deficit versus 19 percent who believe spending cuts alone are sufficient.

On April 19, the Urban Institute published a handbook of tax provisions related to children.

On April 12, the Mercatus Center published a study on lessons from the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

On April 11, the American Enterprise Institute published an extensive collection of poll data on people’s attitudes toward taxation dating back to the 1930s.

I last posted items on this topic on April 25.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column  at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.