Taxes (page 223)

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    Cato’s Tanner notes Obama’s misunderstanding of economic inequality

    Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute details for National Review Online readers some inconvenient truths about the “rich” in America. According to data just released by the Tax Foundation, the top 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans earned 16.9 percent of all adjusted gross…
    Mitch Kokai, October 26, 2011
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    Cain’s 9-9-9 plan gets some praise from an unlikely source

    Fareed Zakaria, not known for his rabid right-wing tendencies, has some nice things to say in the latest TIME about Herman Cain’s tax plan. I am going to defend not Cain’s specific policy proposals but their general thrust. His plan is sloppy…
    Mitch Kokai, October 24, 2011
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    As glowing a review of the 9-9-9 plan as you are going to get

    If you want to understand why one would or should support Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan--not that I endorse it--I strongly recommend Art Laffer's positive review in the Wall Street Journal. With "Cain's Stimulating '9-9-9' Tax Reform," Laffer (famous for the Laffer curve and popularizing supply-side economics) first laments the "ever-more arcane" tax code that we have. "...the sole purpose of the tax code was to raise the necessary funds to run government. But in today's world the tax mandate has many more facets... income redistribution, encouraging favored industries, and discouraging unfavorable behavior... Three federal taxes at 9% that would raise roughly $2.3 trillion [the current level] and replace the current income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax (employer and employee), capital gains tax and estate tax." Along with simplifying compliance, Laffer emphasizes the increased incentives for productive activity. In other words, if you face a 9 percent marginal tax rate, rather than a 35 percent one, you'll be more likely to work.
    Fergus Hodgson, October 21, 2011
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    Stand firm Grover: Tax pledges still apply

    Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, is under fire. More than half of U.S. representatives—238—have signed his ATR pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstances. (That includes six of North Carolina's 13 representatives, all Republicans.) So when the super-committee issues its recommendations next month, either there will be no tax increases or implementation will require pledge violations from 21 representatives. The notion that higher taxes could be off the table, however, is unfathomable to many. For example, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-W.Va.), one of six House Republicans that have not signed the pledge, has accused Norquist of “paralyzing congress” with ideological purity and working with “unsavory characters.” Evidently, hyperbolic metaphors, exaggerations, and personal attacks remain in vogue, perhaps because the relevant evidence leads us to an altogether different conclusion. (Norquist explains the ATR pledge to Stephen Colbert below.)   The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Of those who have attempted to address the ATR pledge directly, they express two leading concerns. (1) We cannot maintain the generosity of the federal spending and balance the budget (not that they’ve passed one) without higher revenues. (2) A hard line against any tax increases impedes the closing of many loopholes for special interest groups.
    Fergus Hodgson, October 21, 2011
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    New at CJO: Citizens Against Government Waste rates the N.C. congressional delegation

    David Bass reports for Carolina Journal Online about the latest congressional rankings from Citizens Against Government Waste, which has named four N.C. lawmakers “taxpayer heroes.”…
    Mitch Kokai, October 20, 2011
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    JLF experts critique a pair of tax increases proposed for Durham County

    Durham County wants taxpayers to hand over another $26.5 million a year in sales taxes for school and transit projects. John Locke Foundation researchers question Durham’s plan in a new report. “Despite county commissioners’ claims about how much Durham County government needs this money, the facts…
    Mitch Kokai, October 19, 2011
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    Laffer likes the 9-9-9 plan

    Famed supply-side economist Art Laffer — of Laffer Curve fame — tells Human Events that he supports Herman Cain’s tax proposal. “Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy,” Laffer told…
    Mitch Kokai, October 13, 2011
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    JLF critiques Orange County’s $2.5 million sales tax proposal

    Orange County voters have another chance next month to decide whether they want to raise the local sales tax rate by a quarter-cent. A new John Locke Foundation report offers a number of reasons why voters might want to think twice before giving county commissioners additional power to…
    Mitch Kokai, October 12, 2011