James Pethokoukis

Why we need a tax holiday for overseas earnings

June 20, 2011

U.S. companies have huge profits sitting offshore, and some in Congress want to give them a tax break as incentive to bring nearly $1 trillion back to America. The New York Times describes the plan this way:

Tax cuts for companies — but not kids?

November 8, 2010

Doug Holtz-Eakin gives a perfectly lucid explanation of why the U.S. needs to cut its corporate tax rate, allow immediate expensing of capital purchases and end worldwide taxation of  profits. But then his deficit hawkishness emerges:

The Dow knows — all the Bush tax cuts will be extended

November 5, 2010

The Dow industrials are up 2 percent today as Wall Street figures out what DC insiders know: All the Bush tax cuts will be temporarily extended, more than likely during the “lame duck” session in December.  Robert Gibbs gave it all away today after Obama hinted as much yesterday:

Why 2011 will be the Year of the Tax Cut

November 3, 2010

American presidents usually win second terms, even if their parties suffer midterm blowouts. But President Barack Obama better not rely on history for a 2012 victory. To lift his political fortunes after Tuesday’s absolute shellacking — and those of the economy — he needs to work with incoming Republicans to do two big things: cut spending and cut taxes.  Here’s why:

Is this the tax reform Obama and the new Congress can agree on?

November 2, 2010

From my Reuters Breakingviews column:

President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission has a mandate to cut the U.S. budget gap. But the White House panel may surprise in another area: tax reform. Democrats and Republicans are taking a hard look at a plan that would simplify the code and cut corporate taxes. Although not perfect, it would be a big improvement.

Will 2011 be the year of the tax cut or tax hike?

October 29, 2010

There’s a brewing debate among conservatives over whether they should favor some tax increases to close the budget deficit. Some Republicans on Obama’s deficit panel are talking about cutting various tax breaks for individuals. Possible presidential candidate Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana recently spoke favorably about a value-added tax and an energy tax.  And here is Kevin Williamson of the National Review Online’s Exchequer blog:

Obama deficit panel partying like it’s 1986

October 25, 2010

The WSJ says President Obama’s deficit panel is looking at cutting various tax breaks — also known as “tax expenditures” — as a way of reducing the budget deficit:

Relitigating the 1990s boom

October 19, 2010

Over at e21, former Bush administration official Joel Harris provides a nice reminder about the real  foundation of the 1990s boom. And it was not the Clinton tax increases:

A chat with economist Glenn Hubbard

October 13, 2010

In their must-read policy manifesto, “Seeds of Destruction,” Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro outline the biggest economic problems facing America and what can be done about them. Hubbard is the former head of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush and is now dean of Columbia Business School. Navarro, a Democrat, is a business professor at the University of California, Irvine and author of  ”The Coming China Wars.” Here are some excerpt from a chat I had with Hubbard:

How Ben Bernanke is trying to raise taxes

October 12, 2010

It’s the return of the inflation tax, as Ed Yardeni rightfully notes:

The rational for another round of QE is to boost economic growth and to avert deflation. In other words, Fed officials would welcome a pickup in the inflation rate. The problem is that they are stoking an inflationary fire in the commodity pits. I doubt that’s the sort of inflation they are rooting for. Presumably, they want prices for consumer goods and services to rise moderately to stimulate producers to expand their capacity and to hire more workers. Higher commodity prices are a tax on consumers and producers and can have the opposite effect.