Economics of the Fiscal Cliff

Our recent paper on the fiscal cliff details the short-term or longer-term economic problems that the country will face if lawmakers either allow everything in the fiscal cliff to occur as scheduled or if they decide to extend it all. This blog will look farther into the potential short-term impacts, attempting to quantify what the cliff's 2013 effects would do to the economy.

Budgetary and Tax Impact of the 'Buffett Rule'

With the "Buffett Rule" set to get a vote in the Senate next week, we felt it was a good time to take a more in-depth look at the proposed policy -- at both its budget and tax impact.

How Much Did You Pay for National Defense?

Following up on a project they did last year, the White House has released its 2011 Federal Taxpayer Receipt. This tool allows you to put in how much you paid in Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes last year and see how much of your tax dollars went to various areas of the budget. You can see how much of your money pays for defense, health care, income security, veterans benefits, international affairs, and, yes, also interest on the debt.

An Addendum to the Fiscal Cliff

Via Twitter, Tax Policy Center director Donald Marron (@dmarron) makes a good point after reading our analysis last week of the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year: that various revenue measures from health care reform will also take effect in 2013.

Line Items: Bloom and Gloom Edition

Bloom and Gloom – Washington’s famous Cherry Blossoms bloomed just ahead of the festival in their honor, and most promptly disappeared due to stormy weather in DC. Now, we can look forward to five weeks of celebrations with the namesakes mostly absent. A similar situation is playing out with the federal budget. There have been weeks of hearings, which will culminate this week as the House votes on the FY 2013 budget resolution. Yet, it is clear that there will be no budget coming out of Congress, again.

Tax Reform in the Ryan Budget

As the House Republican budget resolution has come out and alternatives will be sure to follow, CRFB is rolling out a blog series looking at all the budget resolutions that come up and taking a closer look at the one that's out there now. In this blog, we will look at Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) tax reform plan.

An Odd Couple: Millionaire Surtax Paired with Balanced Budget Amendment Requirement

In what was surprising news to many when, yesterday, freshman Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) announced that he would introduce legislation that would apply a tax to those with annual incomes exceeding $1 million. The concept has held pretty much exclusively Democratic support, until now that is. Crawford touted the move as a necessary compromise for a path towards reducing the county’s deficits and sky-rocketing debt.

An aide described it as analogous to other bipartisan efforts to reaching a deal, stating:

Tax Ideas from Citizens for Tax Justice

The Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) just released a new report detailing their own estimates of a  number of options for raising revenue through eliminating or reducing tax preferences or enacting new taxes. The CTJ argued that many of these tax expenditures were inefficient and revenues could be spent elsewhere in recovery measures or to reduce the federal deficit. They proposed a wide scope of policies, ranging from changes with large revenue impacts to small-change loophole-closers.

As they explain:

How Has the Tax Code Changed Since 1986?

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 is often hailed as a major bipartisan achievement, a reform that simplified the tax code and lowered marginal tax rates. Of course, more holes were opened up, more tax brackets were added, and significant complexity was introduced to the tax code thereafter. 

The Limits of An All-Tax Solution

Tax Policy Center has a new paper out showing what tax rates would have to be in order to stabilize the debt at 60 percent of GDP in 2020, 2025, and 2035. The paper is similar to one they did two years ago, although that one had different fiscal targets.

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