Tax Break

Essential reading: Some in GOP urge lawmakers to back tax hikes for changes in safety-net programs, and more

December 6, 2012

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

* Some in GOP urge lawmakers to back tax hikes for changes in safety-net programs. Lori Montgomery and Rosalind Helderman – The Washington Post. A growing chorus of Republicans is urging House leaders to abandon their staunch opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy with the aim of clearing the way for a broad deal that would also rein in the cost of federal health and retirement programs. Link

* Plan to limit tax breaks gets a push from Boehner. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. A cap on tax breaks designed by a former Reagan adviser is drawing attention after House Speaker John Boehner floated it as an option this week. The White House and Republican leaders have proposed limiting tax breaks to raise tax revenue under a long-term deficit-reduction deal. GOP leaders want to limit deductions instead of raising individual income-tax rates. President Barack Obama wants to do both. Link

* Small firms fret over higher taxes. Emily Maltby – The Wall Street Journal. As President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress debate how to address the nation’s deficit and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, some small-business owners are getting a chance to air their complaints. On Wednesday, 15 business owners made a case against Obama’s proposal to allow tax-cuts to expire for those making upwards of $250,000. Link

* In fine print of fiscal debate, charities unite to defend deductions. Annie Lowrey – The New York Times. Proposals to cap or otherwise limit deductions in order to raise tax revenue from the wealthy are gaining bipartisan support in Washington — and making charities and nonprofits very worried. Link

* The shifting line on tax cuts. Ruth Marcus – The Washington Post opinion. Memories are short, which is lucky for politicians. Consider the current debate over letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and the largely forgotten rationale for cutting taxes in the first place. Hint: It wasn’t because rates were too high. It was because the surplus was too big. Yes, too big. Link

* The political risks of cliff-diving. Karl Rove – The Wall Street Journal opinion. President Barack Obama has clear advantages in the public-opinion contest over the fiscal cliff. Deadlock, controversy and stalemate cause Obama’s popularity numbers to drop. Bipartisan agreement causes them to rise. Link

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