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 But, if repealed, it ewoud be a safety valve against excessive taxation.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."
Jeffrey P. Bezos has never been known for thinking small. And in an interview aired Sunday on CBS´s "60 Minutes," he outlined his latest plan for revolutionizing the retail industry: using drones to deliver packages in as little as 30 minutes. Declaring himself an "optimist," the Amazon.com founder and chief executive predicted the technology could be brought to market in as little as five years. This is more than a theoretical idea. Bezos showed CBS´s Charlie Rose a working prototype of an eight-rotor helicopter drone called an "octocopter." Emblazoned with "Amazon Prime Air," the flying robot has a claw at
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” Wednesday that when Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, “he didn’t charge food stamps.” “When Jesus had those five loaves and two fishes, he didn´t charge food stamps. He didn´t ask anybody how much money they had. He fed them because they were hungry, and that´s really where we ought to be,” McDermott said in response to Republican critics of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In September, the House approved a plan by Republicans to cut $39 billion in food stamps over the next
The nation’s view of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, colored by the horrific Benghazi assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya on her watch, has suddenly turned upside down, with more now holding an unfavorable opinion of the likely 2016 presidential candidate. A new YouGov/Economist poll found Clinton, whose approval ratings have typically been sky high, with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent, more than the 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of her. The YouGov pollsters said that the change in American attitudes toward Clinton "suggests that negative press surrounding the tragic
In the US we are used to abortion advocates claiming that the risk of elective abortion is relatively trivial, and major medical organizations denying any link between abortion and breast cancer. Now a powerful new study from China published last week by Yubei Huang and colleagues suggests otherwise. The article, a meta-analysis pooling 36 studies from 14 provinces in China, showed that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by 44% with one abortion, and 76% and 89% with two and three abortions. This new article is another example of the recent excellent scholarship on abortion in peer-reviewed journals coming out
MIDDLETOWN, Del.- Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson´s fifth-grade classroom. Today´s students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend? "It´s hard. But you can handle this," Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in kindergarten through high school. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, Lawson and and other teachers are starting to use the standards
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post. “Christie already has a problem with many Republicans refusing to forgive him because of his embrace of [President] Obama and his socially liberal policies,’’ said a nationally prominent GOP operative. “But this bizarre behavior in suggesting he won’t help a Republican defeat a Democratic governor, and a Cuomo no less, could finish off his chances of becoming his party’s nominee for president in 2016,’’ the
Senior officials in the White House have said that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is desperate and weak,” in reaction to Netanyahu´s remonstrations against the deal struck with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Israeli television Channel 10 quoted the officials as saying “His pronouncements show a lack of self-confidence,” in an unusually harsh personal attack on Netanyahu. “We are not perturbed by his vocal opposition.”
Bill Clinton, the cliché goes, was the first black president, no matter his skin color. That being the case, Barack Obama is not the first black president, or the first African-American president, if you prefer, but the first hippie president. Clinton’s southern background and lifestyle were indeed more typically black, just as Obama’s was more typically hippie. And we’re not just talking about the “Choom gang” here, scarfing “Maui Wowie” on the sands of Oahu. We’re talking about all of it, the whole multi-culti-missing-white-mother-vanished-Kenyan-father-anti-imperialist-America-is-always-the-enemy-and-don’t-you-forget-it-nine-yards. And like most hippie culture as I knew and experienced it, it wasn’t about “peace and love.” Not
A push by activists to ease the 30-year-old blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men faces a key test this week as a federal panel hears results of the latest research. The findings will be released amid growing pressure from politicians and advocates, including college students, to change the policy. Critics say the ban is a hangover from the early, fear-filled days of AIDS, stigmatizing gay men and ignoring advances in treatment and detection in the decades since. Supporters of the policy say politics, not science, is driving the proposed change, which would heighten the risk of
President Obama completed an ambitious fundraising schedule for Democrats in November, but many of the congressional candidates he is trying to help are finding their election prospects next year imperiled by the president’s faulty health care law. Several polls in the past week have shown congressional Republicans pulling even or slightly ahead of Democrats in generic balloting for the midterm elections, a swing of at least 10 percentage points in less than a month. Pollsters attribute the seismic shift to the series of glaring flaws in Obamacare, most of which came to the public’s attention after the program’s rollout Oct.
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.
So the troubled site apparently now works 90 percent of the time. That should be good news for Obama—but the question is whether Obamacare will get the mass enrollment it needs. HealthCare.gov finally works. Now people just need to use it. The error-plagued website, which was supposed to be the portal for Americans seeking to buy health insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, is finally approaching basic functionality two months after it went online. In a report released Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services breathlessly announced that the website now functions more than 90 percent of