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Tax Analysts Blog

Tax Analysts is an independent, nonpartisan policy organization dedicated to tax systems through an open, informed, and expert understanding of federal, state, and international tax policy.

Will Republicans Ever Be Able To Focus On Tax Reform?

Tax reform is hard work, despite what President Trump said during the House’s attempt to repeal Obamacare. It requires filling in a lot of details and anticipating opposition from business and interest groups that don’t like the idea of winners and losers. Despite talking about tax reform as a centerpiece of their agenda since 2010, the GOP really hasn’t done much of the work to build support within their caucus and the public at large for a real plan.… Read more

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Bannon’s 44 Percent Rate Would Undo Decades Of Republican Policy

After failing spectacularly on healthcare reform, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress will now turn their attention to taxes. President Trump is stumping for a tax cut as the signature achievement of his first term. But forces inside the White House have a different idea in mind. Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly pushing for a 44 percent top tax rate on incomes over $5 million. 

Bannon sees a high tax rate on the wealthy as the centerpiece of populist tax reform. It would deliver on Trump’s promise to legislate on behalf of the working class, and it would raise funds needed to lower other tax rates (although we don’t know what Bannon’s thinking is on those other rates). Bannon’s position on the top rate is at odds with previous proposals from Trump (which all called for a 35 percent top rate) and, not surprisingly, congressional Republicans. However, it is similar to a proposal from Trump’s former opponent.… Read more

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Macron’s ‘Revolution’ Unlikely To Extend To Tax Policy

French President Emmanuel Macron has radically reshaped the politics of his country in many ways.  He crushed the Socialist Party candidate in the first round of the presidential elections, going on to easily defeat the National Front’s Marine Le Pen in the second round.  And his new party secured an outright majority in Parliament, relegating the Socialists to a small minority, while the right-leaning Republican Party (the old Gaullists) saw their representation nearly slashed in half.  But on economic and tax policy, Macron is far less of a revolutionary.  In fact, his tax policies should be very familiar to those used to former President Francois Hollande’s odd pro-business version of socialism.… Read more

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Kansas Shows How Not To Design A Tax Cut, Not That All Tax Cuts Are Bad

The great supply-side experiment is over. After years of cratering revenues and hard choices about spending cuts, the Republican-controlled Legislature has pulled the plug on Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 tax program. Both the Kansas House and Senate overrode Brownback’s veto June 6 by wide majorities. Already commentators are rushing to declare all tax cuts obsolete as a result of Kansas’s experience, but that would be a gross overreaction to what actually happened.… Read more

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The Federal Gas Tax Is Old — And Broken

The federal gas tax turns 85 today – pretty respectable for an excise but nothing compared with federal levies on alcohol and tobacco, which first appeared in 1789. 

Still, the gas tax is looking less spry than it once did. As the principal source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, the gas tax has an important task to accomplish: ensuring that the nation’s infrastructure keeps pace with a growing economy.… Read more

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New AHCA CBO Report Changes Very Little

The Congressional Budget Office released its updated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), giving Democrats new ammunition to attack the bill and making some Republicans even more nervous about the consequences of healthcare reform in the 2018 midterm elections. But given what the CBO said about the bill, it’s clear that very little has changed since the first report in March.… Read more

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