Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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In a November 10 commentary, George Washington University law professor Neil Buchanan took issue with the view that the payroll tax is not really a tax. (Note: In an August commentary, I argued that the payroll tax is more of a contribution than a true tax.)

On November 8, the Tax Policy Center posted a summary of the various tax reform plans that have been proposed by Republican presidential candidates.
In a November 8 speech, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg advocated allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of next year.

A November 8 YouGov poll found that 39 percent of people oppose a flat rate tax and 28 percent support it. Even among Republicans, 30 percent are opposed.

On November 7, the Tax Policy Center published estimates of the impact on tax burdens of changing the index used for adjusting tax thresholds for inflation.

A November 7 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that people favor a graduated tax system over a flat rate system by a 56 percent to 40 percent margin. These are almost exactly the same results that have been found for the last 15 years.

In a November 7 speech, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said that American-based businesses should pay no taxes whatsoever.

On November 4, 33 Republicans senators sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction opposing any net tax increase.

A November 4 YouGov poll found that people believe a tax increase will be necessary to reduce the deficit by a 44 percent to 35 percent margin, but people would oppose a deficit reduction plan that raised taxes by a 47 percent to 24 percent margin.

In an October 10 study, Treasury Department economist David Joulfaian found that charitable giving by the rich is not as responsive to taxes as commonly believed.

I last posted items on this topic on November 7.

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 for 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 his new book: The Benefit and the Burden.

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.