Tax Break

Essential reading: California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes labor-backed pension bills, and more

October 3, 2012

Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes labor-backed pension bills. California Gov. Jerry Brown wielded a heavy veto pen in the final days of bill-signing season, rejecting proposals that sought to undo past budget cuts and increase regulation. It was part of a broad effort to bolster the chances of Proposition 30, which seeks billions of dollars in new taxes to help balance the budget. Link

* Romney floats idea of itemized deduction cap. Damian Paletta – The Wall Street Journal. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney floated details of how he might restructure the U.S. tax code, suggesting he would support a cap on deductions, including those for mortgage interest and charitable donations. Romney offered an example of capping the total number of deductions available to a middle-class family at $17,000. He also said the cap on deductions for wealthier Americans could be less than that figure. Link

* Conservatives challenge Obama’s attack on Romney tax plan. Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. With President Obama campaigning aggressively on the message that Republican Mitt Romney would raise taxes on the middle class, conservatives stepped up their assault Tuesday on the study that forms the basis of Obama’s allegations. The American Enterprise Institute argues in a new analysis that the August study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center erroneously concludes that Romney would have to raise taxes on middle-class households by at least $86 billion a year to pay for his proposal to cut tax rates across the board by 20 percent. Link

* Revisiting President Obama’s small-business tax cut claims. Robb Mandelbaum – The New York Times. This summer, the number 18 has crept into President Obama’s campaign speeches — as in, “We’ve cut taxes for small businesses 18 times.” Link 

* Romney’s middle-class tax sales. The Wall Street Journal editorial. An ABC-Washington Post poll gives President Obama a 49 percent to 44 percent advantage on taxes, with Mitt Romney’s credibility slipping from 48 percent in August, and Mr. Obama’s surging from 43 percent. The same poll has 57 percent of registered voters saying Romney would do more to favor the wealthy than the middle class and merely 35 percent believing the opposite. Link

* The ‘fiscal cliff’ opportunity. Bruce Bartlett – The New York Times opinion. Dealing with the fiscal cliff will undoubtedly be the principal item of business when Congress returns for a lame-duck session. Talks between the administration and Congressional leaders have already begun but have been hampered by questions about who will be president in January, as well as which party will control the House and Senate. Link

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