Personal income surged in December thanks to higher taxes.
Remember that dreaded hike on dividend income that was part of the eleventh hour fiscal cliff deal? Turns out, the uncertainty around the fiscal cliff actually helped boost personal income by 2.6 percent, surpassing official expectations of about 0.8 percent. People got their stock dividends Iearly ahead of the possible tax deadline. According to Commerce Department data, out of the $353 billion increase in incomes, $268 billion or 75 percent came from dividends. Read more at CNBC
HOUSE GOP ASKS OBAMA TO SHOW A BALANCED BUDGET House Republicans will vote next week on a bill that would require the president to provide a timeline of when the government would hit a surplus. Under the measure sponsored by Rep. Tom Price, R-GA, if Obama submits a 2014 budget that over ten years doesn’t produce a balanced budget, he would then be required to submit a second budget that estimates when the budget deficit will be eliminated. Read more at The Hill
U.S. PAYS SOME OF THE LOWEST ENERGY TAXES IN THE WORLD The very mention of a carbon tax is usually waved off on Capitol Hill as a political impossibility. And here’s why economists aren’t politicians—the number crunchers think it would beneficial to slap a tax on pollution. For every ton of fossil-fuel carbon emitted inside the United States, the federal government collects $6.50 in tax revenue, The Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, energy taxes are higher just about everywhere else in the developed world, with the average among the 34 industrialized nations at about $69 per ton of carbon. - Read more at The Washington Post