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December 8, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | VideoJoshua Smith, Senior Policy Analyst at EPI, talks with The Hill about a recent U.S. House of Representatives vote to extend $44 billion worth of tax breaks, mostly for big business.
Deficits, Schmeficits: Congress Refuses to Add to the Deficit—Except When Giving Tax Breaks to Big Business
December 3, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | Economic snapshotCongress routinely allows huge packages of nominally temporary tax incentives, loopholes, deductions, and credits to expire, only to revive them over and over again.
November 25, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogAs we near the end of the calendar year, we’ve once again reached tax extender season—the time of year when senators and representatives set aside their differences to hand out tax breaks, loopholes, credits, and deductions as if they got them at a Black Friday sale.
November 3, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogThis post is the latest in a series that has aimed to question the conventional Beltway wisdom about the supposed harm to the economy inflicted by the corporate tax code.
October 29, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogAfter dispelling some unwise conventional wisdom about corporate taxes (first that American corporations pay the highest tax rates in the developed world, and then that “tax reform,” as commonly defined by Congress and businesses alike, would be either sound policy or good politics or both), here’s another tired idea that needs to be put to bed: Taxing American multinationals’ overseas profits when they return home “traps” money overseas and is a leading cause of the American corporate code’s “anti-competitiveness.” The U.S.
High-income Households Pay a Large Share of US Taxes—But This Doesn’t Make Our Tax System Progressive
October 28, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogPerhaps the highest priority issue on the conservative agenda is keeping taxes on the highest-income Americans low. Their arguments essentially boil down to claims that raising taxes on “job creators” would doom the economy, and, besides, the government has taken so much from them already that there’s no more left to take.
Myths and Facts About Corporate Taxes, Part 2: Will Congress’s Idea of “Base-Broadening, Rate-Lowering Tax Reform” Fix What’s Wrong With Our Corporate Tax Code?
October 24, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogA few weeks back, we examined whether the conventional wisdom that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world is indeed true.
October 7, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogLast night, the American Enterprise Institute’s Jim Pethokoukis, with whom I occasionally agree on matters of fiscal policy, took to Twitter to “clarify” the fiscal implications of many progressive priorities.
Myths and Facts about Corporate Taxes, Part 1: Do American Corporations Pay the Highest Taxes in the World?
October 2, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogIt’s become conventional wisdom that American corporate tax rates are the highest in the developed world, leaving American businesses at a competitive disadvantage—and that the only solution is fundamental tax reform (a phrase used by both Republicans and Democrats).
August 25, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogIn looking to merge with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts icon Tim Hortons, Burger King is just the latest American multinational to buy a smaller foreign company and reincorporate abroad, lowering its tax bill in the process.
August 11, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogPerhaps Hell has not frozen over, but it appears that someone down there may have leaned on the thermostat. That’s right, the Economic Policy Institute and the American Enterprise Institute are in lock-step agreement on an important fiscal policy matter.
Block Granting Social Safety Net Programs Would Erode Their Value and Deprive Low-income Families of Critical Aid
July 30, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | Economic snapshotIn his new plan, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposes consolidating 11 separate federal anti-poverty programs into one block grant.
July 25, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogYesterday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled his long-awaited plan to fight poverty, called “Expanding Opportunity in America.” And while Ryan’s new proposals serve to distance his ideas from the more draconian aspects of his annual budget proposals, as well as 2012’s Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, this new plan serves as further evidence that Ryan fundamentally misunderstands the nature of poverty in the United States.
July 15, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogThis morning, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest long-term budget outlook. While CBO projects the federal debt to begin increasing sharply in future decades, the main takeaway is that, with the debt stable for the remainder of this decade relative to the size of the economy, Congress should not see these projections as a reason to double down on economy-stunting austerity.
June 27, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogContinuing its recent habit of allowing a foreseeable problem to become a full-blown crisis, Congress has so far done nothing to prevent the looming insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
April 15, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogThis morning, EPI will welcome economist Thomas Piketty to lead a panel discussion on wealth, income, and inequality. The event will be live-streamed here.
April 9, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogLater today and tomorrow, the House of Representatives will consider and vote on six different budget proposals—those put forth by the House leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as by the Obama administration, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Republican Study Committee.
April 3, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogEarlier this week, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) unveiled his proposal to retroactively renew the “tax extenders”—a group of just more than fifty “temporary,” unrelated tax incentives, breaks, loopholes, and outright giveaways that Congress routinely extends as they lapse.
April 1, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogEarlier today, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled the House Republicans’ fiscal year 2015 budget resolution. Like Chairman Ryan’s FY14 budget, this year’s model (again called “The Path to Prosperity”) aims to balance the budget within a decade—an economically nonsensical goal during a slow recovery, and one that requires damaging austerity to achieve.
March 27, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | Economic snapshotIf the federal spending cuts known as sequestration stay in effect, they will lead to a historical low level of public investment—hindering a full economic recovery.
The ‘Better Off Budget’: Analysis of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget for fiscal year 2015
March 13, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | EPI Policy CenterExecutive summary The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has unveiled its fiscal year 2015 (FY2015) budget, titled the “Better Off Budget.” It builds on recent CPC budget alternatives in prioritizing near-term job creation, financing public investments, strengthening the middle and working classes, raising adequate revenue to meet budgetary needs while restoring fairness to the tax code, protecting social insurance programs, and ensuring fiscal sustainability.
February 27, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogYesterday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released his long-awaited (at least among budget nerds) tax reform proposal.
February 25, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | Issue BriefInstead of renewing the entire slate of tax extenders, federal policymakers should conduct thorough analyses of all extenders to see if they efficiently target useful policy goals. Congress should improve and make permanent those that pass muster, and simply shelve those that do not.
February 21, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogWhile much of the reaction to the most recent CBO Budget and Economic Outlook (released earlier this month) focused on the labor market impacts of the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to note that this report actually contained a multitude of interesting findings and updated projections.
Five Years Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: The Downward Spiral of Public Investment
February 12, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | Economic snapshotNext Monday marks five years since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was enacted, yet the U.S. labor market remains extraordinarily weak, with too little demand, few job opportunities, and crushing levels of long-term unemployment.
February 4, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogThe Congressional Budget Office’s new 10-year Budget and Economic Outlook, released this morning, is truly the bearer of bad news. Compared with CBO’s previous outlook, released last May, spending over the next decade is projected to fall, revenues are projected to dramatically fall, and economic growth is projected to plummet.
There Are Plenty of Ways to Cut the Budget. Food Stamps Shouldn’t Be One That Congress Can Agree On.
February 3, 2014 | By Joshua Smith | BlogAfter two years of debate and foot-dragging, the House and Senate have finally agreed on a farm bill—one that comes with a ten-year price tag of $956 billion.