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  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Patrick Louis Knudsen House and Senate Budgets: A First Step Toward Restoring Congressional Budgeting

    It is no great achievement for lawmakers simply to do what the law requires of them. Still, the passage of budget resolutions last month by both houses of Congress—after the Senate’s four years of neglect—does seem noteworthy. The question now is: What next? In the absence of normal budgeting, congressional leaders have resorted to manufactured, ad hoc fiscal procedures…

  • Issue Brief posted September 11, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay Congress Should Finish Its Summer Job: Stop Taxmageddon

    Now that Labor Day is past, Congress has returned to Washington after its summer vacation. Regrettably, it failed to complete its summer job before it left: stopping all of Taxmageddon. Hopefully, Members of Congress are well rested, because the dreadful August jobs report[1] heightened the urgency of preventing these tax increases. Unprecedented Tax…

  • Issue Brief posted July 17, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay Congress Should Not “Pay for” Stopping Taxmageddon Tax Increase

    Taxmageddon is a massive one-year $500 billion tax increase that is poised to strike the economy on January 1, 2013. It is mostly the result of tax policies that expire at the end of the year.[1] Congress has been slow to stop Taxmageddon in part because of a common misconception that doing so would be a tax cut that adds to the deficit. On the contrary, preventing…

  • Issue Brief posted June 27, 2012 by Patrick Louis Knudsen Federal Budget: Congress Should Uphold House Appropriations Spending Limits

    With several extraordinary spending and tax challenges facing Congress, at least one part of this year’s budgeting should be fairly routine: the annual appropriations process. Both the House and the Senate have already advanced many of these spending bills, which fund the operations of government agencies. They should make a point of completing them all in a deliberate,…

  • Issue Brief posted May 17, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Preventing Taxmageddon Is Congress’s Summer Job

    Conventional wisdom says that Congress and the President will get nothing done in 2012 until after the elections. Conventional wisdom appears to be at least mostly correct, but in one respect Congress should not fall prey to conventional wisdom: preventing Taxmageddon. Too much is at stake for families, jobs, and restoring limited government: Congress should heed…

  • WebMemo posted February 9, 2012 by Patrick Louis Knudsen President Obama’s Budget: What to Watch For

    The President’s post-debt-ceiling, election-year budget will provide a good test of whether he is serious about facing up to the country’s looming fiscal crisis and driving spending down. At this critical moment for the nation’s fiscal and economic health, he should seize the opportunity to change the course of fiscal policy. No one expects President Obama to…

  • WebMemo posted January 24, 2012 by Curtis S. Dubay Tax To-Do List for 2012 for the President and Congress: Focus on Growth

    President Obama and Congress need to focus on policies in 2012 that will unleash the economic growth necessary to get the economy back on track, create jobs, and lower the unemployment rate. As more government spending has failed to create that growth, the President and Congress should turn to removing the obstacles that Washington policies are placing in the way of…

  • WebMemo posted November 2, 2011 by Patrick Louis Knudsen Federal Budget Bills Close to Target but Should Cut Deeper

    While most attention is focused on the congressional “super committee,” House and Senate appropriators have been moving legislation aimed at meeting their own fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending limits under the debt reduction agreement enacted earlier this year. So far, the appropriators are close to that modest goal. But they are far from returning to the pre-stimulus,…

  • WebMemo posted September 7, 2011 by Patrick Louis Knudsen The President’s New “Jobs Speech”: More Economic Alchemy Likely

    Judging by the accounts published to date, the “jobs” plan President Obama proposes Thursday night will likely include the typical set of infrastructure spending, school construction, aid for teachers, unemployment benefits, “targeted” tax breaks, and the like.[1] In other words, the President will call for more of the same discredited Keynesian strategies (with a smaller…

  • WebMemo posted September 6, 2011 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Three Paths for Obama’s Jobs Speech

    President Obama will soon make yet another “major jobs speech.” Small wonder—the Department of Labor announced last Friday that the economy created a net of zero new jobs in August following two months of near-zero growth. Two years after the President signed his first major jobs bill into law, the unemployment rate continues to hover at 9.1 percent. Unfortunately,…

  • WebMemo posted December 3, 2010 by William W. Beach, Karen Campbell, Ph.D., John L. Ligon, Guinevere Nell How Many Jobs Will Congress Choose to Lose? The Economic Effects of Various Legislative Options for Addressing Expiring 2001 and 2003 Tax Policy

    There is near-universal agreement among economists that raising marginal tax rates during slow economic times only makes the economy weaker. Higher tax rates reduce employment, cut investment activity, and soften household demand for goods and services. Even so, Congress is considering right now a number of tax proposals, most of which raise tax rates starting on January…

  • WebMemo posted October 5, 2010 by Jason Richwine, Ph.D., John Fleming Impact of Obama Tax Increase: National, State, and Congressional District Levels

    The macroeconomic model presented in “Obama Tax Hikes: The Economic and Fiscal Effects”[1] makes predictions at the national level. Converting the model’s predictions to state and congressional district levels requires supplemental analysis. Because of the statistical assumptions involved, the exact state and district numbers may vary slightly from the reported…

  • WebMemo posted September 20, 2010 by William W. Beach, John L. Ligon Obama Tax Hikes: Economic Harm to All Americans

    The end of the August recess brought with it the beginning of a historic tax debate. Congress soon will decide whether to extend tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003 to all income-earning groups or to only some. In the course of making that decision, Congress may set the fate of the U.S. economy for the next decade. Politically speaking, President Obama and the…

  • WebMemo posted May 27, 2010 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Obama’s Dividend Tax Proposal Means More Debt, More Instability

    The President has proposed raising the tax on dividend income from 15 to 20 percent while his allies in Congress have created a procedural path whereby the income tax rate on dividends could again reach 39.6 percent. At the same time, it has been suggested by some that the deduction for business interest expense is a subsidy, implying that it should be curtailed or…

  • WebMemo posted April 27, 2010 by Brian M. Riedl Guidelines for a Successful Fiscal Commission

    President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (known popularly as the “deficit commission”) is set to begin assembling recommendations to reduce the budget deficit to 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and to address long-term deficits. The commission faces an uphill battle, as no bipartisan consensus currently exists on how to close…