Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has announced the outline of his tax proposal in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday evening. Among Bush's proposals are three income-tax brackets (28 percent, 25 percent, and 10 percent), cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, and eliminating several "convoluted, lobbyist-created loopholes" in the code.Read more
Hillary Clinton has unveiled a "profit sharing" tax plan. The details of the plan have been published on her website.
"Clinton’s Plan for a Profit Sharing Tax Credit," the headline of the item on Clinton's website reads.Read more
The discussion over economic inequality in the United States seems to have captured the public imagination, at least on the political left. President Obama has called it “the defining challenge of our time,” and Secretary Clinton has deemed it “a cancer.” Given the shorthand manner in which politicians sometimes refer to policy matters it is not always clear if Obama and Clinton are referring specifically to inequality, the ratio or distribution of wealth in society, or to raw poverty—the fact that millions of Americans live in impoverished circumstances. There is a keen difference in which of these two approaches one takes to the challenge of alleviating misery. Here, I’ve devised a simple test to understand the issue:Read more
Former President Bill Clinton insists he and his wife, Hillary Clinton, are not out of touch. The examples he cites? They talk to people at their "local grocery store on the weekend" and, he adds, they "talk to people in [their] town."Read more
Hillary Clinton will be getting $225,000 to speak at a university fundraiser later this year. Students at the same school, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have recently been outraged that the institution is raising tuition by a staggering 17 percent.Read more
In what some are interpreting as a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden says that the fact he isn't rich shouldn't be held against him:
I make a lot of money as vice president, Biden said in the Washington, D.C. speech this morning. But, he said, he was the poorest member of Congress when he was a U.S. senator.Read more
At a Beverly Hills estate last night, President Obama heard a complaint from a major donor: There's no valet parking at the White House. The complaint was made by Haim Saban, who hosted a fundraiser with the president last night.
Via the pool report:Read more
Washington, D.C. is booming. That's in large part because of a massive growth in lobbying expenditures and federal contracts.Read more
It is no secret that Washington generally prospers even as the rest of the country struggles. In a rough fashion, prosperity in the capital and economic hardship in the rest of the country are inversely related. An economic crisis means lots of new government pump priming--remember the stimulus?--which means new departments and programs in Washington. More opportunities for the tribe of lawyers and lobbyists.Read more
This morning on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof asserted that Bill Gates, who was seated nearby on set, is "richer than God":Read more
President Barack Obama made his position on tax rates clear today in remarks at theRead more
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.Read more
Warren Buffett is by now no stranger to the national debate over federal tax policy. In 2009, he penned a New York Times op-ed calling for "truly major changes in both taxes and outlays." Two years later, he returned to the Times with a widely publicized call for large tax increases on the "super-rich," noting that his own effective federal tax rate (17 percent) was far less than his employees' rates (ranging from 33 to 41 percent). President Obama liked the idea so much, he called for Congress to pass "the Buffett Rule" in his 2012 state of the union address.Read more
President Obama used his most recent interview with the Associated Press, released today, once again to hit Mitt Romney for investing overseas. "[T]he small bits of disclosure that he has put forward indicate investments in the Bahamas, or Swiss bank accounts," Obama said of Romney.Read more
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Philadelphia this afternoon at the International Association of Fire Fighters 51st Convention, said, "I wish my kids would become wealthy."
Biden is the father of three living children, Ashley Biden, Beau Biden, and Hunter Biden, all of whom would appear to be doing just fine financially.Read more
Speaking this afternoon to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Florida, President Obama stated that "in this country, prosperity has never come from the top down."Read more
Joe Biden, speaking in Ohio today, said that he is "tired of being called a 'Middle Class Joe.'"Read more
A report issued last week by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) finds that the average tax burden on income in the United States has been declining in recent years, in sharp contrast to the trend in the other OECD countries.Read more
On October 1, 2010, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney described the genius of the American idea and lauded its results. “No nation has done more to lift people out of poverty than this nation,” he said in remarks at Benedetto’s, an Italian restaurant in Tampa, Florida. “Our free enterprise system has lifted billions out of poverty.”Read more
There’s a lot of silliness on all sides of the Bain Capital debate.
On the one hand, Newt Gingrich’s attacks (and the follow-on assaults by Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry) on Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital have been unfair, over the top, and, for that matter, all over the place. Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman deserve much of the criticism they’ve received from conservative commentators.
On the other, Mitt Romney’s claim throughout his campaign that his private sector experience almost uniquely qualifies him to be president is also silly. Does he really think that having done well in private equity, venture capital, and business consulting—or even in the private sector more broadly—is a self-evident qualification for public office? One assumes Mitt Romney would agree that Chris Christie is a better chief executive of New Jersey than Jon Corzine, and that Rudy Giuliani was a better mayor of New York than Mike Bloomberg. But Romney’s biography looks a lot more like Bloomberg's or Corzine's (leaving aside Corzine's recent misadventures) than like that of Giuliani (pre-mayoralty) or Christie. Past business success does not guarantee performance in public office. Indeed, Romney sometimes seems to go so far as to suggest that succeeding in the private sector is intrinsically more admirable than, e.g., serving as a teacher or a soldier or even in Congress. This is not a sensible proposition, or a defensible one.Read more
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