Commentary: Long-Term Study Finds That Higher Corporate and Personal Taxes Lower Real GDP

by Ross Pomeroy   One of the main planks of President Biden and congressional Democrats’ agenda is making corporations and high-earning Americans “pay their fair share” through higher taxes. But a recently published analysis in the journal SAGE Open delving into sixty years of U.S. economic data from 1960 to 2020 suggests that their…

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Trump: ‘America Is on the Edge of an Abyss’

Donald Trump on Saturday delivered stinging rebukes of the Biden administration at the Dallas Conservative Political Action Conference, one of a continuing series of indications that the still-popular former president has set his sights on a return to the White House for 2024.

Trump during his speech declared that the U.S. “is being destroyed more from the inside than the out,” and that the country “is on the edge of an abyss, and our movement is the only force on earth that can save it.”

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Commentary: Yes, Taxes Can Drive People to Move

Many people will tell that people choose to live somewhere based on factors like the weather or proximity to family, and that taxes don’t enter into the equation. While there is a lot of truth to that understanding, when taxes reach a certain point, they can cause people to alter their behavior. Have you heard of voting with your feet? Here’s how that exact concept is playing out for two Iowa families.

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Connecticut Bills Could Bring Changes to Property, Income Tax Calculations

Holly Cheeseman

As inflation soars to 40-year highs, Connecticut lawmakers are considering a package of bills that could bring changes to the manner property and income taxes are calculated in the future.

This legislative session, the General Assembly is considering House Bill 5487, which could increase thresholds for the state’s property tax credit and eliminate some of the eligibility restrictions that are in place.

Also on the Legislature’s radar this session is House Bill 5489, which calls for inflation indexing the personal income tax, and House Bill 5490, which would establish a personal income tax deduction on rent paid, so long as the person’s primary residence is in Connecticut.

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Commentary: The Tax Increase That’s Hidden in Plain Sight

Americans have less money than they had last year — though taxes haven’t been raised. So what’s the problem? Inflation, which has increased at a 40-year high annual pace of 7.9%. It acts as a hidden tax because we don’t see it listed on our tax bills, but we sure see less money on our bank accounts.

In fact, inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings for private employees are down about 2.5% over the last year. This means a person with $31.60 in earnings per hour is buying 2.5% less of a grocery basket purchased just last year. “For a typical family, the inflation tax means a loss in real income of more than $1,900 per year,” stated Joel Griffin, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

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Lawmakers Call for Challenge to ARPA Rules Limiting Connecticut Tax Reduction

Ned Lamont

Connecticut Republican legislators said on Saturday they want the state to challenge a part of the American Rescue Plan Act which limits states’ ability to cut taxes.

GOP senators and representatives are calling for tax reduction beyond the targeted relief backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). A major roadblock to greater decreases will be the COVID-relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law last year. The act included $195.3 billion in recovery funds for states and barred states accepting allocations from using them to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in net tax revenue… or delay the imposition of any tax or tax increase.”

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Former Yale Med School Employee Admits to Stealing and Selling over $40 Million in Electronics

Jamie Petrone, a former Yale University School of Medicine employee, pleaded guilty Monday in Hartford federal court to fraud and tax offenses related to her theft of $40 million in computer and electronic hardware from the university, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced in a press release.

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Biden Unveils $5.8 Trillion Budget Proposal with Increased Taxes on Businesses, Wealthy Individuals

President Joe Biden unveiled a new 2023 budget proposal Monday along with major tax increases to help pay for it.

Biden’s budget, which comes in at about $5.8 trillion, is not expected to become law, but presidential budgets help set the legislative priorities for the year to come.

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With Gas Prices at Historic Highs, Biden Calls for Raising Taxes on Oil Drillers

President Joe Biden’s budget proposes to scrap more than $45 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, his administration’s latest attack on the beleaguered industry.

The White House budget will remove more than a dozen fossil fuel industry tax credits, increasing the federal government’s revenue by an estimated $45.2 billion between 2023-2032, according to the proposal published Monday. The administration explained that the proposal was written to prevent further fossil fuel investment.

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Commentary: The IRS Can’t Get the Basics Right, So Don’t Add to Its Authority

All taxpayers are dealing with a disastrous filing season this year, with the IRS backed up on processing millions of returns and refunds from last year and communication from the agency nonexistent at best. But some taxpayers will have an added headache in the future as a result of an unnecessary new paperwork requirement that went into effect this year. Fortunately, however, legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) would address this issue by removing the burdensome new requirement.

Ever since IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig claimed last year that the “tax gap,” or the gap between what the IRS collects and what it believes it is owed, could be as large as $1 trillion, politicians and legislators have been scrambling to propose ways to collect all that missing revenue. That’s despite the fact that more sober analyses show that the $1 trillion figure is probably wildly exaggerated, that it is functionally impossible to wholly prevent tax evasion, and that a far greater concern is the IRS’s inability to handle its taxpayer service responsibilities.

But as far as proposals to collect all this supposed “extra revenue” go, most of the focus has rightly been on schemes to drastically increase the IRS’s enforcement budget and allow the IRS to snoop on taxpayers’ financial accounts. But another more targeted change has already gone into effect, and is already causing problems.

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IRS Reverses Plans for Facial Recognition Software on Its Website

man in purple sweater sitting in front of a computer

On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a statement that it would no longer be moving forward with previous plans to implement a controversial facial recognition software on its website in order for users to access certain tax records.

According to CNN, the IRS’s reversal came after widespread backlash by elected officials, privacy groups, and others who pointed out that such technology would constitute a massive overreach and violation of individual privacy. The IRS said in its statement that it would “transition away from using a third-party verification service involving facial recognition,” and would instead add an “additional authentication process.” The agency also vowed to “protect taxpayer data and ensure broad access to online tools.”

“The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously,” IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “and we understand the concerns that have been raised. Everyone should feel comfortable with how their personal information is secured, and we are quickly pursuing short-term options that do not involve facial recognition.”

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Commentary: The GOP Can Reclaim the Child Tax Credit – And Use it to Win in 2022

family of three eating pizza

As part of his Contract with America, House Speaker (and my former boss) Newt Gingrich helped first introduce the Child Tax Credit (CTC), passing it in 1997. Originally the idea of President Ronald Reagan, the CTC was founded on the conservative principles that raising children is God’s work, and parents should not be punished or held back for choosing family in a country that is always moving forward. President Trump continued this tradition by doubling the CTC in 2017. As Speaker Gingrich said during a 1995 speech, “We believe that parents ought to have the first claim on money to take care of their children rather than bureaucrats.”

Democrats reformed the CTC in 2021, as part of their wildly overdone American Rescue Plan. They’ve sought to continue their changes to the CTC in the even-more-overdone Build Back Better Act (BBB), a hulking Frankenstein of bad Democratic ideas. But the new version of the CTC may be an exception. It continues fulfilling Speaker Gingrich’s contract, empowering families to work and earn, and to raise their children with their own values. The spirit and core of that policy is even better reflected by flat, poverty-busting monthly disbursement of the credit. It’s the only salvageable ship in the sinking BBB fleet.

The CTC – in its 2021 form – does not stray too far from the $500-per-child tax cut that was initially passed in 1997. The payments, which provided eligible families with up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child aged 6 to 17, stimulated regional economies, protected families from rising costs, provided direct cash relief, and removed bureaucratic hurdles.

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Commentary: We Can’t Split the Difference on Culture

The United States is an outlier among established democracies in two respects: We face both falling social trust and rising polarization. I have argued that the two dynamics connect in a doom loop. Trust in others and institutions falls, leading to greater polarization, which drives trust down even more. That is why the two processes are getting worse at the same time. A nasty dynamic has taken hold in the country, and it regularly affects all of us.

Many issues polarize us, but we should prefer polarization on economics to polarization on culture. Polarization is least damaging on issues most amenable to “splitting the difference”—as many economic issues are.

Consider taxes. Progressives want higher taxes on the rich, while conservatives want lower taxes. The possibility of compromise always exists—and even if it is obscured beneath the surface of our political tempers, uncovering it is not hard. For example, we could average our preferred tax rates, and no one would come away emptyhanded. Granted, that’s not how we have handled this issue in the past, but it’s at least conceivable.

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