Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category


Do Corporate Reform First

Apr15

By John Feehery

Paul Ryan with Barack Obama 02-25-10.jpg

“Paul Ryan with Barack Obama 02-25-10″ by The White House from Washington, DC – P022510PS-0748. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank)

“Get your billions back, America.”

That H&R Block admonition–a clever ad campaign–shows the inherent conflict with the Republican Party’s anti-tax philosophy.

For most Americans, April 15 is not a day to pay taxes. It’s a time to get a refund. An industry has sprung up to help Americans spend their refunds even before they have arrived.

This dynamic makes it hard for Republicans to pass comprehensive changes to the tax code, especially for individuals. (more…)

Corporate Taxes Are Too Damn High

Mar20

By John Feehery

Jimmy McMillan Blue 3 2011 Shankbone.jpg

“Jimmy McMillan Blue 3 2011 Shankbone” by David Shankbone – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our corporate tax rate reminds me of New York political figure Jimmy McMillan.

He famously founded the “Rent is Too Damn High” party and ran for Mayor on the platform that his rent was, well, too damn high.

I feel the same way about America’s corporate tax rate. (more…)

The Real Budget Question: How Do You Grow the Economy?

Mar13

By John Feehery

US capitol building.jpg

“US capitol building”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank)

House Republicans spent a lot of time in 1995 and 1996 fighting over arcane details of their budget resolution: whether to balance the budget in five, seven, or 10 years; which agency should be the official scorekeeper; whether to use dynamic or static scoring.

Turns out, all that haggling didn’t matter much. The economy grew so rapidly that by 1999 the quandary was no longer how to balance the budget but how to spend the surplus.

What’s the takeaway? The federal budget process tends to focus on political battles and niggling details such as “reconciliation” and how to score. It doesn’t focus on the bigger picture–but Congress needs to do just that. (more…)

Tax Reform and Ireland

Feb5

By John Feehery

Flag of Ireland.svg

“Flag of Ireland” by Drawn by User:SKopp. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I had lunch yesterday with several friends who work closely with the government of Ireland, and the subject turned to the coming elections over there.

Like in the UK, you never quite know when the Election Day will be called, as setting that date is one of the benefits of being in the Majority.

In any event, the smart money has it that the ruling party, Fine Gael, will call the election sometime in 2016, but not too close to the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Like all the governments, Fine Gael is most likely to spend more money to stimulate economic growth the closer it gets to the actual election. (more…)

Obama Backtracks From Plan to Tax ’529′ College Savings Accounts

Jan28

By John Feehery

USA-The George Washington University.JPG

“USA-The George Washington University” by Ingfbruno – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank)

The quick demise of the White House plan to tax college savings accounts, also known as 529 plans, underscores what a flawed idea it was.

By proposing a tax on these tax-free accounts, ostensibly because the accounts disproportionately help higher-income people, the president effectively proposed making college more expensive for middle-class parents.

Consider: Rich people have no problem paying for college. (more…)

 

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