August 24, 2010
When Congress returns to work after Labor Day, one priority must be to extend tax cuts for middle-class families earning less than $250,000 per year. The tax cuts approved under President George W. Bush in 2001 are set to expire at the end of this year. Without action by Congress, marginal rates for all taxpayers would increase to the levels prior to 2001. Democrats in Congress and President Obama want to allow the tax cuts to expire only for families with incomes exceeding $250,000 or single filers earning more than $200,000.
January 31, 2006 |
It is easy for a politician to say, "I am going to cut taxes," but it seems rare for a politician to tell us who is going to pay for tax cuts. As many people are aware, $1.8 trillion in tax cuts was passed in 2001 and 2003, primarily to benefit the very rich. A lesser-known fact is these tax cuts have been slowly phased in, making it easy for politicians to avoid answering the tough questions about who is going to pay for them. We got a glimpse of who is paying when Congress voted Dec. 19 to cut $40 billion, which would affect vital health-care and education programs.
September 19, 2010
By now you've heard the argument that President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy would imperil the economic recovery by hurting many small businesses. The claim is a whopping exaggeration of the likely impact of Obama's proposal to raise marginal tax rates on the highest earners. Congress must decide by the end of this year whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire. Obama and his Democratic allies want to reinstate the tax cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 or families under $250,000.
March 13, 2002
AS WE talk about the issue of cutting the city wage tax, let's be clear. Tax cuts don't "cost" the city anything. We've seen time and again that tax cuts provide economic stimulus that invariably results in greater total tax revenue. When City Council and the mayor raised taxes for years, people left and tax revenues per person fell. If we reverse the tax increases, the people - and the jobs - will come back. Jonathan Goldstein, Philadelphia I have enjoyed your editorial position on the city's killer taxes and applaud your positive approach to Controller Saidel's tax-reform package.
September 15, 2008
Just three months after passing his first budget, Mayor Nutter now says the city faces a $450 million shortfall in its five-year spending plan. Nutter blames the poor national economy on the sudden budget crunch. As such, he says the city must consider every option to close the gap - including layoffs and forgoing scheduled tax cuts. It's good to see Nutter keeping a close watch on the city's finances. But now is not the time for him to go wobbly on the city's tax cuts. The $450 million shortfall over five years is real money.
August 5, 1999 |
With a projected $800 billion on-budget surplus over the next 10 years, Congress should cut taxes and give all this extra money back to us. Right? Wrong. On the surface, these Republican House and Senate proposals might sound like a reasonable path to take, but a closer look shows how devestatingly irresponsible such cuts would be. The surplus Republicans want to return to the taxpayer does not exist. It is only a projected surplus. Economists are hard-pressed to forecast even a few years into the future, and in fact the Congressional Budget Office projections have changed by wide margins over the last few months.
August 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - With the government heading toward a year-end "fiscal cliff," House Republicans approved a full plate of Bush-era tax cuts Wednesday that they said could help shore up a still-frail national economy. At the same time, the Obama administration warned that threatened budget cuts could send some of America's troops into battle with less training. For all the action and talk, however, both taxes and spending were deeply enmeshed in campaign politics, with no resolution expected until after the elections.
March 17, 2003 |
Republican budget writers are pressing ahead with plans for up to $1.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next 11 years, untroubled by bulging short-term deficits and unsure about the costs of a potential military conflict in the Persian Gulf. The deficits and the shadow of war are not helping these Republican leaders build broad coalitions in support of the tax cuts. Moderate and some conservative Republicans, not to mention Democrats, are rejecting the large tax cuts in favor of something smaller or nothing at all. Lawmakers face three fundamental questions: How long will the war last and how much will it cost?
September 22, 2010 |
In any athletic contest, winning teams play their own game and force the other side to play that game, too. The same being true in elections, it's remarkable how timidity leads Democrats to fight this year's campaign on Republican terms. Nowhere is this more obvious than on taxes, where the entire debate revolves around what to do about the cuts enacted under George W. Bush. Almost no one is talking about extending the progressive tax cuts that were included in President Obama's stimulus program.
January 20, 2008
After failing to accomplish much in 2007, legislators have returned to Harrisburg with a predictable game plan: election-year tax cuts. If at first you don't succeed, pander for votes. The tax-cut tsunami started harmlessly enough, with a worthy proposal by House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans (D., Phila). He wants to create a refundable earned income tax credit for Pennsylvania's working poor who earn $34,250 or less. Evans has been working on this idea for several years.