Governments everywhere are on the prowl for more revenues. French president François Hollande wants to tax incomes in excess of €1 million at a 75 percent rate. Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has jacked up VAT.
Congress is preparing to take action on a bipartisan proposal to raise taxes on flu vaccines. This is not a tax on the wealthy, but rather on a broad swath of Americans, or at least those who choose to be immunized against the flu.
Mark Knoller from CBS News reports this morning that President Obama, in a statement in the Rose Garden, “will stress his budget’s top objective is to boost the economy and create jobs.” To do that, he’ll have to contradict what he previously described as “the consensus among people who know the economy best.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is moving to London to avoid France's high taxes, according to a report in the British Daily Mail. The move would mean that Sarkozy, along with his wife, Carla Bruni, would avoid France's top tax rate of 75 percent.
Tom Cole is the kind of Republican that President Obama will need to help raise the debt ceiling. The Oklahoma congressman is a conservative, but he’s also a pragmatist and a realist who urged Republicans early on to lock in income tax rates for almost all Americans, rather than risk the possibility of income taxes automatically
Among the many items bundled into the fiscal cliff fix there was another delay in implementing cuts to physician payments for Medicare services. It wasn't hard, though. Congress has had plenty of practice handling what is called the "doc fix," since it has been doing it almost routinely for the last decade.
President Barack Obama said that he stands by the medical device tax in Obamacare, despite growing bipartisan opposition:
"No," Obama told WCCO in an interview today, when asked whether he's changed his mind about the medical device tax. "And here's why: The health care bill is going to provide those medical device companies 30 million new customers. It's going to be great for business. And they're doing really well right now."
The Wall Street Journal editors are unhappy about the present correlation of political forces. Who isn't? They're also, I gather, unhappy about "Beltway sages" who, facing the fact that the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, have suggested Republicans accept a modest increase in tax rates for the wealthy while leading the charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of the American people.