What’s the least defensible special break in the U.S. tax code? With so many distortions to choose from, it’s hard to name just one. If forced to pick, I might say the deduction for state and local taxes, which cost $67 billion in fiscal 2011, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. This one overwhelmingly benefits upper-income households in a handful of upper-income states, while rendering the entire nation’s finances less transparent. It’s also a potential source of friction in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations between President Obama and the Republicans (but we’ll get to that in a moment).
Comments: Living in NH with no sales or earned income taxes, I would like to see this. Of course, it will never pass because only blue states benefit with these tax deductions.
I couldn´t agree more. That said, NY, CT, CA, etc. will fight mightily against repealing this deduction. But, if repealed, it ewoud be a safety valve against excessive taxation.
Take a look at the Potomac river. The west end of the Wilson Bridge is dominated by commerce thriving in a lower tax environment. The east end is mostly a lower income dormitory for federal workers in a confiscatory tax environment.
I would like for the unearned tax credit refund to be abolished. It is not right for people who do not pay taxes or very little taxes, to get a refund above the taxes taken out. I worked with a woman whose lazy no good son, who did not like to work, would get a tax refund that he did not earn. She laughed and thought it was funny that he got back more than he earned. She was and I am sure remains a raging liberal.
I am a New Yorker and for the past several years have had the good fortune to be able to complain about being in AMT territory. Being in Westchester County that means I have astronomical property taxes for which I get no deduction. I expect nobody to feel sorry for me because I life in a high-tax jurisdiction, and this is offset by things like being able more easily to max out my 401 because it´s a percentage of my New York-inflated income.
I am fine with eliminating the state income tax deduction because it will affect me negatively but it will overwhelmingly affect blue states and far fewer red states and will force blue staters to think for 10-15 seconds about whether it makes sense to be taxed so heavily, and maybe even push for budgetary restraint.
I would start here if I had to agree to higher taxes. And if the additional tax would go solely to paying down debt I would be okay with the tax - I´m not okay with it because I know that will never be the case.
But there´s no reason not to increase the taxon the states that essentially voted for high taxes, even though I voted differently.
Liberals always look at things from the taxations side, not the spending side. This lame brained idea is nothing but double taxation in the very high tax states particularly; another great way to cut down on jobs.
Lane, the writer, should stick to his field of reporting on what economists say not coming up with his own lame brained ideas. Left wing economists have enough of their own he can write about; Krugman 91% tax on the rich.
Guys, all this talk about doing away with the deduction in order to force budget tightening -- that´s not the way the world works anymore. The Leviathan is feeding itself, and simply does not care about what works.
I am also a TN resident and an accountant. If you itemize deductions, you can detect local sales taxes. This ability was added to the IRS code as a way to equalize state tax deductibility between states that have no income tax. I would like to see the EITC welfare program removed as part of the tax code. It allows what is really a welfare program to be hidden within the tax code and it is wildly abused.
While I agee that it would be unfair double taxation, I cannot help but note that the states with the highest income tax (that now gets deducted from federal taxes) are the Dim-controlled states--NY, CA, MA, IL.
Although it would be unfair to conservatives living in those states, it would be poetic justice to raise the taxes of the leftwing knuckleheads in those states.
My favorite tax deduction to chop out is union dues. Union dues should not be deductible from individual income tax, nor should unions be tax exempt.
As someone who lives in a high tax state (MA)this would hurt me a lot. An autoamtic 3% increase in my already astronomical federal tax bill. All so the feds can waste more money on social programs. No thanks. No tax hikes til we see spending cuts.
To those carping about living in non taxed states you´re still making out. I could use the exact same argument against mortgage deductions. Why should someone who rents pay for the break his landlord gets? Or the person who has no mortgage subsidize the guy who only put 5% down?
I actually cannot think of any tax deduction that could not be opposed using this argument. Maybe we should just eliminate all deductions and pay a flat rate?
Payroll taxes are also another tax on the same $1 of income as the state income tax and federal income tax. When you count all the layers of taxes on the same $1 of income, many people are paying more than 40%.
The Obama administration’s unquenchable ambition to replace Americans’ own choices with those made by bureaucrats in Washington has taken yet another stupid turn, it appears. Either that, or the federal school lunch policy is so confusing that city officials cannot figure out how to serve milk. (Snip) The rules actually state that children “must” take fruits, vegetables and whole grains if districts are to be reimbursed by Washington for the meals.
Students must take a meal at school even if they only want a carton of milk, according to federal regulations presented at the Board of School Committee meeting Monday. Mayor Ted Gatsas and other school board members reacted with dismay to the rules, which they say have contributed to waste when students, some of whom bring lunches from home and only want milk, toss the school-provided fare in the trash. “We’re not able to offer the free milk-only option,” Superintendent Debra Livingston told the board. “In order to have the free meal, the students are required to choose the required
A Massachusetts man has been indicted for voting in Manchester during the 2012 Presidential election. Late Friday afternoon Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announced in a release that Lorin C. Schneider, Jr., of Carver, Massachusetts had been indicted by a Hillsborough County grand jury for wrongful voting in violation of RSA 659:34, I (e). State officials claim that during the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election, Schneider voted at a Ward 9 polling place in Manchester, where he was a registered voter. The attorney general´s office says at the time Schneider had lived in Carver, Mass., for over 20 years.
I moved from Maryland to New Hampshire in 2010. Why? I walked into my corner grocery store in Maryland and all the lights were off. Reason: the small-business owner couldn’t afford the new countywide carbon tax. That was the last straw for me. (Snip) Concord Police Chief John Duval recently begged Washington, D.C., for more than $250,000 to buy a military-style “armored personnel carrier” — the Lenco BearCat G3. Chief Duval claims he needs this military personnel carrier because of groups like the “Free Staters.”
Here is how New Hampshire’s so-called “health insurance exchange” under Obamacare will work when it comes online Jan. 1. Granite Staters who need health insurance and have not found it through an employer or the actual marketplace will come to this government-created “market,” where a grand total of one insurer will offer plans. Every one of the plans offered by the single participating insurance company will have to provide government-mandated minimum coverage that starts at $498.79 a month. This is “choice” under Obamacare.
NASHUA - Among the protesters rallying outside of Nashua City Hall on Saturday was Chez Perez, who stood out with his large Scar battle rifle draped around his neck. (Snip) Perez was one of about 100 people gathered at City Hall Plaza participating in two opposing rallies. The Organizing For Action group hosted a gun violence prevention rally, while the New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition spearheaded a simultaneous counter-rally supporting gun rights.
The decision by gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger to build new facilities in North Carolina and not New Hampshire has resurrected the old debate over whether right-to-work laws harm a state’s economy and quality of life. As the top labor leaders of two states with very different experiences with right-to-work, we maintain that right-to-work is not a viable strategy for economic growth. In North Carolina, which has had a right-to-work for less law since 1947, it has encouraged the development of a low-wage economy and institutionalized poverty and an environment that puts corporate profits
Opponents of making New Hampshire a right-to-work state said incessantly that it would hurt the state economically. This week another manufacturer, this one based in New England, chose to expand in a right-to-work state instead of in New Hampshire. Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger & Co., spent months openly seeking a location for a new manufacturing plant to supplement its existing operations in Arizona and Newport, N.H. (Snip) “Right-to-work state was one of our criteria,” he added.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending millions to attack Sen. Kelly Ayotte for opposing gun-control legislation Bloomberg likes. Bloomberg says tougher gun laws will reduce gun homicides. Has he ever compared his city’s gun murder rate with New Hampshire’s? New York City’s gun homicide rate has fallen to 4 per 100,000, very good for a large American city. Boston’s rate is 6.2, Washington, D.C.’s 19, and New Orleans’ a stunning 62.1 (Snip) New Hampshire’s gun homicide rate was .53 percent last year.
Well here’s another scandal ready for the Obama administration. It was revealed today that the National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon. This top secret order was issued in April. The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries. The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records
I am proud of Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her courage in voting for legislation that would address the criminal misuse of firearms by prohibited persons. She could have taken the easy way out and voted for ineffective bills that sounded good to the media and anti-gun crowd, but which would not have addressed the root causes and which would not have prevented another Sandy Hook tragedy. Instead, she resisted severe political pressure and did the right thing, voting for measures that would actually help and voting against measures that just sounded good, but which would not help.
Like most states in the country, New Hampshire is having a difficult time answering the question about whether to expand Medicaid coverage. For the last decade, politicians of both parties have made no attempt to expand Medicaid coverage in the state. With the federal government dangling some initial money for the program, some are tempted, but unsure. Today, with so many unanswered questions, policymakers should avoid a rush to judgment and just say, "maybe."
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
In February, the Bush family’s personal emails were hacked by Guccifer, a hacker who uncovered photographs of former President George H. W. Bush in a hospital bed and George W. Bush’s oil paintings in the process. It seems Guccifer has struck again, this time targeting former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Library. The hacker has reportedly uncovered doodles of Clinton drawing on what were, at the time, classified documents. Among the doodles is apparently a picture of a penis. The document uncovered is a briefing of the strategic measures the United States could take prior Clinton’s decision to intervene in
Denver - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay
Amid an array of “knock-out” attacks against a number of Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, a city councilwoman pointed to the success of the Jewish community as triggering the aggression. Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo emphasized that while she “admire[s] the Jewish community immensely” for its work ethic, black teens may see it differently. “While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success,” Cumbo, who was recently elected, wrote in a letter. Chief among the issues
On Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported that Onyango “Omar” Obama, uncle to President Obama, says that his famous nephew stayed with him while a student at Harvard Law School in the 80s, in contradiction to The White House’s contention that the two had never met. At Thursday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the President had, in fact, briefly stayed with “his father’s half-brother,” as Carney described Omar Obama, and that no one had actually asked the President about it when the White House initially commented. The 69 year-old Omar Obama has been facing deportation back
Former President Bill Clinton shared an anecdote regarding Nelson Mandela and the aftermath of his impeachment Friday on CNN. Clinton revealed shortly after the “impeachment business” finished on Capitol Hill, Rep. Henry Hyde (R., Ill.) who managed the impeachment trial requested a meeting at the White House. The former president granted the meeting out of lessons of humility and forgiveness he learned from Mandela, he said: BILL CLINTON: I remember one day, oh, about a month after the whole impeachment business was over, Henry Hyde, who had run the whole show, unbelievably enough, maybe a few months after, it was
The world premiere of the “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” is set for tonight. Princeton University’s director of its jazz-studies program composed the work in honor of the Florida teen. Anthony D. J. Branker told the Star-Ledger that the piece is intended to “be a form of healing” after Martin’s death and the controversial court case that followed it. The ballad, which will be performed by the university’s official orchestra and jazz ensemble, is intended to be a tribute to victims of racial violence, Branker explained. He hopes that the performance will be “one that speaks to
WASHINGTON – A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, an encouraging sign for the economy. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October´s revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month. The economy has now generated an average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That´s up
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has high praise for potential 2016 contenders Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think Joe Biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents ever, and he has been with me, at my side, in every tough decision that I’ve made,” Obama told MSNBC in an interview Thursday held at American University. “Hillary, I think, will go down in history as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve ever had, and helped to transition us away from a deep hole that we were in,