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Incentives, Economic Growth, and Distributional Effects of Various Tax Expenditures
February 14th, 2013
President Obama’s State of the Union address this week included an impassioned argument for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction; meaning that spending cuts should be coupled with revenue increases. Many Republicans disagree—arguing we should cut spending while leaving taxes at their current rates. The bright line between taxes and spending is, in fact, not so bright. One obvious example is tax expenditures—government spending through the tax code, also called loopholes. In some ways tax expenditures are good; for example, they can be used as incentives to encourage corporate and private behavior that provides a social benefit. On the other...
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Video: Introduction of the Corporate Tax Fairness Act
February 11th, 2013
Late last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced the Corporate Tax Fairness Act. Right now, corporations based in the United States are allowed to defer taxes on any overseas earnings indefinitely. In practice, this leads to two things: tremendous amounts of profit shifting via abusive transfer pricing to tax havens, and large deposits of untaxed cash sitting in bank accounts located in those same tax havens. If enacted, this law would end deferral, requiring that all U.S. corporate profit would be taxed for the year that it was earned.
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