Tag: taxes

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Cartels and Concierge Bureaucracy Management

 

Several years ago I heard an amusing story on NPR’s Planet Money program. The story described an Indian entrepreneur who, frustrated with India’s local political corruption and red tape, started a new business: Concierge Bribery. For a fee, he would seek out and pay off all of the sundry local officials whenever a local business needed something done. I thought how lucky we were that America had not yet descended to that level. I was deeply wrong. We, in fact, have had concierge bureaucracy managers for some time.

While it is generally a good maxim to never ascribe to mendacity that which can be explained by incompetence, normal logic seems rarely to apply to any of the corruption and rot stemming from Obamacare (and for the record, I refuse to call it “The Affordable Care Act”, or ACA). The act seems explicitly designed, among other things, as a tool to force a cartelization of the entire medical industry. We see this in the rapid demise of independent practices, as they close up shop and merge into large provider networks — effectively regional medical cartels. What we are not yet seeing, or rather noticing, on any scale is the very similar effect Obamacare (when coupled with the many other business strictures in place) is having on general employment itself.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Hillary and Bernie Both Want to Raise Investment Taxes Dramatically

 

usa-election-democratsI thought a goal of smart tax policy was that you raised taxes on what you didn’t want (like pollution) and cut them on what you did want (like more investment and work). Over at Forbes, Ryan Ellis notes that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are proposing the highest capital gains tax rates in history, 47.4% for Clinton and 60% for Sanders vs. 23.8% today.

In the case of Clinton, according to Ellis, the math is a top headline rate of 39.6% + the 3.8% Obama “net investment income tax” + a new 4% high-income surtax. (By the way, the top capital gains tax rate was 20% when Bill Clinton left office and 15% under President George W. Bush.)

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Taxes Chased GE Out of Connecticut

 
GE in Schenectady

GE’s decision to leave Fairfield for Boston is another sad marker in the downhill slide brought about by Connecticut’s high-tax, high-regulation, anti-business policies of the last 25 years.

Governor Dannel Malloy (D) accelerated the state’s economic freefall with another huge tax hike passed last summer. Despite his 2014 reelection promise of no new taxes, Malloy signed a $2 billion tax hike that falls heavily and businesses and individuals. This came only a few years after his near $1.5 billion tax hike.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Ted Cruz’s VAT Really Is a VAT

 

DebateThursday’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina featured a feisty back-and-forth between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio concerning Cruz’s tax plan. Rubio said Cruz’s “business flat tax” is really a value-added tax that will blindfold “the American people so that they cannot see the true cost of government.” Cruz argued that a VAT is “a sales tax when you buy a good,” and his new tax is instead “imposed on on business.”

Make no mistake here. Cruz is proposing a VAT add-on to the existing personal income tax system. Specifically, it’s a “subtraction-method” VAT. Cruz explained it pretty accurately in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. A business would pay a 16% tax on its “gross receipts from sales of goods and services, less purchases from other businesses, including capital investment.”

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Hillary is currently campaigning saying that “we would all be better off if we went back to the economic policies of the 90’s”. Clearly, she wants to raise taxes on 98% of the population, while letting the top 2% off scot free. (The Bush tax cuts applied to the entire population. They were subsequently eliminated […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is There a Real Alternative to the Ideas of Trumpism?

 

RTX1ZP41_trump_supporters-e1451321671210Let’s posit that Donald Trump’s polling power — particularly among white working-class voters — mostly reflects that group’s economic troubles and anxieties about the future. What sort of economically-sound agenda might resonate with these voters? Something other than border walls, immigrant roundups and deportation, and trade wars with Asia.

In his much buzzed-about The Atlantic piece, David Frum tries to outline just such an agenda:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Study: Trump Tax Plan Would Add $34 Trillion to National Debt

 

An analysis of Donald Trump’s tax plan from the Tax Policy Center (as summarized by the WSJ):

Donald Trump’s tax plan would cut federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over a decade and boost the after-tax incomes of the wealthiest households by an average of more than $1.3 million a year, according to an analysis released Tuesday. Mr. Trump’s plan, which would cut tax rates and push millions of households off the income tax rolls, would reduce federal revenue by 22%, requiring either significant new borrowing or unprecedented spending cuts. … “The revenue losses from this plan are really enormous,” said Leonard Burman, director of the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, which released the study. A bipartisan panel reviewed the report before its release. Mr. Trump’s website says his plan would be revenue-neutral. The center’s analysis shows otherwise.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialism, and the Left’s High-tax Future for the US Middle Class

 

RTX1ZF6L_berniesanders_dem_debate_dec192015-e1450715133604During the weekend’s Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton expressed skepticism about the cost of Bernie Sanders’s spending plans, particularly his $15 trillion single-payer health plan: “Free college, a single-payer system for health, and it’s been estimated we’re looking at $18 to $20 trillion, about a 40 percent increase in the federal budget.”

In response, Sanders argued that “it is unfair simply to say how much more the program will cost, without making sure that people know that we are doing away with cost of private insurance, and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care on the single-payer than on the Secretary’s Clinton proposal.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Current State of GOP Tax Cutting

 

RTX1XSKW_jeb_bush-e1449758498928The Tax Policy Center offers its modeling of the Jeb Bush tax cut plan:

The Tax Policy Center estimates the proposal would reduce federal revenue, before considering any macroeconomic feedback effects, by $6.8 trillion over its first decade and an additional $8.6 trillion over the subsequent 10 years. About 60 percent of the revenue loss would come from individual income and payroll taxes and most of the rest from the corporate income tax.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What to Do About US Firms Moving Overseas to Pay Lower Tax Rates

 

RTX1VHPR_Pfizer-e1448306821641New York-based Pfizer and Dublin-based Allergan are merging in a mega-inversion deal to create the world’s biggest drug maker based on sales.

To take advantage of Ireland’s low 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, the two companies will combine under Allergan, though the entity will be called Pfizer PLC and trade under Pfizer’s current NYSE ticker symbol. According to the WSJ: “Pfizer expects the combined firm to have an adjusted tax rate of between 17% and 18%, lower than its current 25 percent rate, among the highest in the industry.” And here is the kicker:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Giving Thanks For Congress

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.56.48 PMEvery Thanksgiving I sympathize with lobbyists: can you imagine sharing their obligation to feel grateful for Congress? Amidst the vast, un-American growth of the administrative state, the world’s greatest deliberative body continues to do what it does best: taxing our children and passing the savings onto us.

The distinction progressives make between public and private is a false one. Many Americans know what it’s like to struggle beneath the weight of debt: not a day that goes by when my mailbox isn’t stuffed with offers from Visa or MasterCard informing me that I have been pre-declined.

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In the debate on Tuesday I couldn’t square how Ted Cruz could state that his 10% flat income tax plan (that also eliminates payroll taxes) was revenue neutral when scored dynamically. Well two articles by Steven Moore and Ramesh Ponnuru on NRO really helps explain what is going on. Basically both Ted Cruz and Rand […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Flat Taxes and Gold: A Few Thoughts on Ted Cruz’s Economic Plan

 
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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, speaks at the First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua, NH, April 18, 2015. Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com

Full disclosure: I have written critically of the flat tax and gold standard as appropriate policy choices for the modern US economy. Frequently, in fact.

So there goes Ted Cruz in Wednesday’s debate endorsing both policies (kind of regarding the gold standard): “If you want a 10 percent flat tax where the numbers add up, I rolled out my tax plan today. … And I think the Fed should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Ben Carson and Taxes

 

Ben CarsonI am in Boulder for the CNBC-hosted Republican presidential debate, on which I will be offering insights in my role as an on-air contributor.

I have written quite a bit about Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush. But not so much about Ben Carson, who leads in Iowa and in one national poll. Not so bad for the good doctor. But where is he policy-wise?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

By now you are aware that Canada just elected a Liberal. Claire Berlinski’s and Dan Hanson’s excellent posts cover the election and who Justin Trudeau is. Conservatives have always pointed to proof of left wing bias in mainstream media. In the United States there are probably no more than a handful of mainstream media outlets which tilt […]

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Gov. Jindal released his tax plan via Forbes Op Ed. I’ve only read his piece at Forbes, not dissected the entire plan in detail, and my first impression is Wow, get this gentleman to the main stage ASAP. H/T to the Main Feed Twitter scroll for including Gov. Jindal’s announcement. Jeb! and Trump – please go […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Red Ink Alert: So Donald Trump Wants to Slash Taxes and Leave Medicare Alone?

 
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People holds signs as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference to reveal his tax policy at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.

Even with dynamic scoring, Donald Trump’s tax plan is likely to lose a ton of money. (And, yes, I am dismissing out of hand Trump’s 6% growth claim. Please.) But Trump isn’t counting entirely on faster economic growth to make the numbers work. As he pointed out in the WSJ yesterday:

Finally, this plan will not add to our deficits or to the national debt. With disciplined budget management and elimination of waste, fraud and abuse, this plan will allow the nation to balance the budget, boost the economy to record levels, clear the backlog of workers sitting at home and begin the process of reducing the debt

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Trump’s Tax Plan: The Good, the Bad, and the Not-that-Bad

 
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Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com

Here are the highlights of Donald Trump’s tax plan, announced today, interspersed with a few comments from me:

If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “On Trump and Taxes”

 

Are members of the hedge fund crowd really just getting lucky by pushing paper around? Is the tax treatment of carried interest a national scandal? Is there a principled case for taxing capital gains at a different rate than ordinary income? And what’s the right approach to take towards comprehensive tax reform? Those are some of the questions I explore with Professor Epstein this week as we examine Donald Trump’s criticisms of financial elites. Listen in below or subscribe to The Libertarian podcast via iTunes.

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