Tax Reform

Letter: Support the “No Regulation without Representation Act of 2017”

Dear Representatives: We, the undersigned organizations representing millions of Americans, write to express gratitude to Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner for his introduction of the No Regulation without Representation Act of 2017 and to voice our …

Why the carbon tax is an idea that won’t go away

Using a carbon tax to fight climate change has long been a popular idea among economists, but November's election results seemed to render carbon-tax advocacy something of a …

Applying a BAT to reinsurance would be a big swing and a miss by Congress

As we all saw in recent media coverage of President Donald Trump's 100th day in office, many observers treat the first 100 days of a new presidential administration …

Impact of a border-adjustment tax on the Louisiana insurance market

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street's Ian Adams and R.J. Lehmann. Louisiana’s insurance markets took nearly a decade to recover fully from the damage wrought by …

Impact of a border-adjustment tax on the Texas insurance market

The attached policy study, a joint publication of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams and Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann. Applying a destination-based …

Are you paying your fair share of taxes?

The following is a guest post by attorney and freelance writer Mark Meuser. Today, many Americans will finalize their federal income tax returns and send their 1040 forms to …

Carbon tax could provide White House with missing link on tax reform

You've heard it all before: the U.S. tax code hasn't been updated since 1986; it's riddled with loopholes, giveaways and inefficiencies; our corporate tax rate is the highest …

Citation nation

In April 2013, when California resident Derick Neal rolled through a red light, it was no surprise that he received a ticket. What did surprise Neal was how …

Housing crisis is latest excuse to take aim at Prop. 13

There’s little question that California’s rapidly rising home prices have become something of a crisis for low- and middle-income people. “California is rapidly becoming a renter majority state,” …

Estate-tax plan is another example of Trump-spite

Economists sometimes talk about a fictional $1 million tax on, say, beagles to illustrate the perverse effects of a poorly designed tax code. In theory, the tax could …

Free-market groups to Congress: Repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) should be included in tax reform

Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Rep. Brady, and Sen. Hatch: As free-market and taxpayer protection organizations representing millions of Americans, we urge that repeal of the Foreign Account …

Is California estate-tax proposal real or latest anti-Trump response?

This year’s California legislative session has been thus far dominated by two persistent themes: the desire to stand up to the Trump administration and the pursuit of new tax dollars …

The New Gender Battle: Tampons versus whiskey

It’s getting increasingly difficult to mock the California Legislature given the fusillade of nearly unbelievable legislation that makes its way through the Capitol’s hallowed halls. In the old days, when …

‘Gender injustice’ behind call to reduce taxes on tampons

In his veto message of a series of tax-reduction bills last September, Gov. Jerry Brown explained that “tax breaks are the same as new spending – they both cost the …

Insurance debate could doom border adjustment tax

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. President Donald Trump signaled during last week's address to a joint session of Congress that he is, in fact, …

Franchise tax reform still a priority for Texas

Nobody likes paying taxes. But unlike the rest of us, once every two years, the Texas Legislature gets the chance to do something about it. In 2015, with the …

Neeley addresses press conference on ‘Conservative Texas Budget’

R Street Southwest Region Director Josiah Neeley joined with Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, and other members of the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition at an Austin press …

Coalition to Congress: Pass pro-growth tax reform in 2017

Dear Speaker Ryan & Chairman Brady: On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in support of your efforts to pass pro-growth tax reform into law in 2017. Given the …

Increasing reinsurance taxes would be a manmade disaster

With the new Congress underway, tax reform is at the top of the agenda. Many of the ideas now being proposed, such as proposals to fix our punitive …

GOP tax plan could boost prices for Californians’ insurance

Donald Trump has only been president since Friday, so it’s too early to know what his “America first” policies will mean economically. But an ongoing debate from the …

132 organizations support the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017

Dear Senator Thune and Congresswoman Noem: The undersigned organizations support your bill, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017. We appreciate your work to lead the country towards a common …

Swapping the corporate income tax for a price on carbon

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan and Research Assistant Daniel Semelsberger. The corporate income tax and domestic carbon policy are two areas …

Tax reformers must take care not to kill reinsurance market

During the 2016 presidential election, one theme from President-elect Donald Trump rang louder than any other: the importance of keeping jobs in America and finding ways to encourage …

IRS plans to make it harder to let families keep their businesses

The Internal Revenue Service is up to about 10,000 public comments submitted thus far on its latest assault on families – proposed sweeping changes to Section 2704 of …

You wouldn’t pay taxes you don’t owe. Why should Lowe’s?

Taxes aren't a form of charity. Both businesses and individuals should pay the taxes they owe and not a penny more. They may be our obligation as part of …

A carbon bargain for conservatives

Policies to restrict the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases already are a clear and present reality. Many conservatives might not agree with those ideas, but …

Corporate Income Tax: More trouble than it’s worth

Politics often yields suboptimal policy. In some cases, visible benefits flow to a select group at the expense of the largely invisible broader public. In others, visible costs are imposed on …

No, a child tax is not like a carbon tax

As a former philosophy major, I resent that the only time philosophers tend to get featured in the press is when they are saying something particularly ridiculous. For …

Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

In most of the country, a region’s “big” industry – think automotive companies in Michigan’s heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles – is …

20 groups support the House Tax Reform Working Group’s Blueprint

Dear Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady, On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to applaud the efforts of the House Tax Reform Working Group. The Blueprint you have …

State officials addicted to nicotine taxes

The last time I wrote about tobacco-related measures, I concluded that California legislators and health advocates have let a bit of Puritanism get the better of them. Why …

80+ groups support H.R. 5053 and eliminating the IRS Schedule B form for 501(c) organizations

June 13, 2016 Dear Member, As organizations that represent the interests of millions of taxpayers across the country, we write in support of H.R. 5053, the “Preventing IRS Abuse and …

Historic tax credits: A 45% government subsidy wearing a mask

My apologies for interrupting the glowing love fest for Alabama's historic preservation tax credit that's set to expire next month, but there are a few things you should …

Orange County’s political divide has officials seeing red

The real division in the Golden State isn’t between Northern California and Southern California; it is between the coastal cities and the grittier inland. That’s true even at …

14 free-market groups call on Secretary Lew to address the inversion issue through tax reform

Dear Secretary Lew, On behalf of the undersigned organizations we write to urge you to address the inversion issue by working with Congress to pass tax reform. In addition, …

As tax day approaches, more families should enjoy the benefits of the EITC

As the April 15 tax-filing deadline approaches, nearly 30 million low-income families will receive more than $64 billion in tax breaks from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Policymakers …

Adjust the EITC for cost of living

This oped was co-authored by Zackary Hawley. With the presidential election season in full swing, lots of candidates are making lots of promises, many of them short on details …

Wind PTC’s creator says credit’s end is nearing

As we’ve said before, the federal wind-energy production tax credit (PTC) is a wasteful and harmful subsidy that has lived far beyond its expiration date. Last week, new …

111 groups support a Senate vote on Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015

Dear Senator McConnell: The undersigned organizations support a Senate vote on H.R. 1105, the House passed Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. The House of Representatives passed Congressman Brady’s (R-TX) …

‘Protecting’ consumers by forcing them to pay more

A Depression-era trade law – now the subject of debate in the West Virginia Legislature – is a reminder of how “consumer protection” laws often do little to …

20+ conservative organizations to Utah State Legislature: Oppose online sales tax proposal

January 27, 2016 Dear Utah State legislator: On behalf of our organizations and the millions of citizens we represent, we write in strong opposition to the online sales tax proposal …

45 organizations sign on in bipartisan show of support for permanent ban on Internet Access Tax

Dear Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid, The undersigned organizations, which represent millions of American consumers, strongly support the permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in …

Effect of further cigarette tax increases on youth smoking appears minimal or nil

Most states and many cities have in the last 20 years initiated or raised tobacco excise taxes.  The fact that both the amount and rate of tax increases differ widely across …

For energy markets, tax and budget talks include good, bad and ugly proposals

R Street has a longstanding commitment to highlight wasteful government spending, programs and market restrictions. The end-of-year negotiations on the budget deal and tax extenders have highlighted some …

Support permanent Internet tax freedom – Vote ‘yes’ on H.R. 644

Dear Member of Congress, On behalf of the millions of members of our organizations, we strongly urge you to support the conference report to H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation …

Did Chris Rock have the answer to gun violence?

I love Chris Rock. Or I should probably say, I love Chris Rock, the standup comedian. The record of Chris Rock, the actor and filmmaker, is decidedly more mixed. …

An open letter to Congress: Beware of reinsurance tax hikes as ‘pay-fors’

Dear Member of Congress: As the 2015 session winds down, lawmakers are seeking a variety of "pay-fors" to offset the costs of legislation whose passage is deemed urgent. Although …

Gillibrand proposes reinsurance tax gimmick to fund 9/11 victims

In his seminal 1987 work Crisis and Leviathan, economic historian Robert Higgs traces the pattern of government growth as a response to catastrophic events. The federal government, in …

The Texas Path: Preserving energy sovereignty to cut taxes

Texas faces some tough energy choices. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), Texas is expected by 2030 to have reduced carbon dioxide (CO2 ) …

Coalition urges Congress to reject tax increases

Dear Congressman: As the end of the Congressional session approaches, you will face many calls to raise taxes in order to "pay for" higher levels of spending and debt. …

Emissions bill failed at capitol for a reason

For a Sacramento administration unaccustomed to failure, the end of the state’s legislative session had an air of unique disappointment. An effort backed by Governor Jerry Brown and …

Discouraging Marriage: The hidden cost of means-tested government ­benefits

The following piece was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Neil Gilbert.   Traditional marriage is in big trouble in the United States. Between 1960 and 2011, the share of …

Free-market groups urge International Trade Commission not to assert authority over digital transmissions

Dear Chairwoman Broadbent, On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations, we write to express our deep concern about the International Trade Commission's April 9, 2014 decision in investigation 337-TA-833. …

Green Scissors Coalition letter to former Gov. Jeb Bush

Dear Gov. Bush: The Green Scissors Coalition, made up of environmental, taxpayer and free-market groups dedicated to eliminating wasteful spending that harms the environment, applauds your recent comment that …

Cities, states keep piling on the Internet taxes

The City of Chicago has the dubious distinction of becoming the first jurisdiction to apply a sweeping tax to "cloud-based" services, ranging from streaming video to tax preparation. Beginning …

In the Bible Belt, Alabama politicians look to tax “sin” and spend

If you're a politician who promised not to raise taxes in Alabama, increasing the amount of "sin taxes" or creating new ones violates that pledge. We already have some …

Solar bailout? Don’t bet on it

Is the U.S. solar energy market in a bubble? Analysis suggesting that the burgeoning industry is overvalued certainly aren't new, and the list of observers who have deigned …

Coalition for Tax Competition urges Congress to represent taxpayer voices in the OECD

Dear Senators and Representatives: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is rapidly working to rewrite global tax rules in the name of combating base erosion and profit …

Tax pollution, not profits: a reply to Rep. John Delaney

The carbon tax is an elegant mechanism for imposing a price on carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector, especially when compared to the alternatives. The patchwork of federal …

How conservatives should deal with climate change

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery Climate of Confusion: How Should Conservatives Think About Climate Change? Co-Hosted by The R Street Institute and National Affairs The Rayburn Building Washington, D.C. July 6, 2015 In 1980, …

Avoiding protectionist reinsurance tax key to ensuring low-cost insurance

As proposals are floated both in Congress and in the White House's budget plan to change the tax treatment of reinsurance purchased by U.S. insurers from offshore affiliates, …

The moral case for fossil fuel taxes

One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren …

The GOP needs its own plan for climate change

The Obama administration’s ongoing campaign to regulate climate-change causing pollutants under the Clean Air Act deserves all of the withering criticism it has gotten from the political right. …

Is Texas ready for a second round of tax cuts?

The Texas Legislature wrapped up its biennial legislative session last month by passing a $3.8 billion package of cuts to the state's property and business franchise taxes, which …

D.C. Circuit strikes down ‘cascading’ retrocession excise taxes

The federal excise tax does not apply to reinsurance or retrocession transactions between foreign insurers, even if the transaction covers U.S. risks, according to a May 26 decision …

Reagan thought taxing the poor was a bad idea; Alabama should too

Alabamians below the federal poverty line should not pay income taxes. In spite of the fact that almost 20 percent of Alabama's population falls below the poverty level, Alabama …

Laffer: Keep protectionist reinsurance tax out of tax reform

A proposal to bar insurers from claiming a tax deduction for premiums ceded to offshore affiliates would cost the U.S. economy $1.35 billion in gross domestic product, with …

Fixing the Texas tax-cut stand-off

As the Texas Legislature nears the end of its biennial session, the biggest issue on the table is how best to cut taxes. The state House has proposed a …

Should Alabama have a flat tax?

They'll probably label it a tax hike. That's what always happens anytime anyone attempts to reform Alabama's mangled tax code. Alabamians hate tax increases. Just ask Gov. Robert Bentley. If …

IRS created tool to calculate Obamacare repayments, didn’t share with public

The Internal Revenue Service developed an online tool that would have helped Americans who received health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to better calculate their tax …

The question of raising taxes

It was shrewd of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board to choose its words carefully when it called for tax reform (“There’s no time like April to talk about …

The Kafkaesque horror Of Tax Day

Congratulations! You get to pay taxes to the federal government. The upside is that you earned money. The downside is that you just realized how much of it …

Coalition urges Congress to pull funding for the OECD

Dear Senators and Representatives: American taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize international organizations working against U.S. interests. The undersigned organizations, representing the Coalition for Tax Competition, call on …

80 groups support Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015

Dear Congressman Brady and Congressman Bishop: The undersigned organizations support your bill, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. We appreciate your work to lead the country toward a common …

It’s tax break week in Texas

The Texas state Senate this week is holding hearings on a whole slew of tax reform bills. Starting yesterday and continuing today and tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee …

Insurance industry needs better arguments for ‘price optimization’

Back in her high school days, my daughter got to be a pretty darned good field hockey player, eventually became the captain of her team. But in her …

Coalition letter to Congress urging comprehensive tax reform now

Dear Members of Congress: The current U.S. federal tax system is out of date and desperately in need of an overhaul. Current U.S. policies were formulated in the 1980s …

Why the two-earner tax credit is a flawed approach

In his most recent State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama laid out a litany of tax proposals, including a $500 tax credit to households where there …

R Street concerned about protectionist reinsurance tax

WASHINGTON (Feb. 2, 2015) – The R Street Institute today expressed concern about a plank in the White House’s proposed 2016 budget that would impose protectionist taxes on legitimate reinsurance …

After CRomnibus, a conservative wish list for a Republican-controlled Congress

While enactment of the trillion dollar "CRomnibus" left some conservatives fuming over Republican leadership's unwillingness to fight a shutdown battle over immigration or the Affordable Care Act, here …

The Wind Production Tax Credit lives on

After much negotiation, Congress has passed legislation retroactively extending 55 “temporary” tax breaks (or tax extenders) through the end of 2014. It is likely that the president will …

Keeping the Texas budget lean

Mark Twain famously observed that the two things you don’t want to see being made are laws and sausages. But when it comes to the state budget, an …

Come hear how Texas will benefit from a ‘conservative budget’

Next Monday, Nov. 10, I officially join R Street as its new Texas director. I'll be working on a variety of issues of critical importance to the Lone …

Five potential consequences of Republicans winning the U.S. Senate in November

Here are five potential consequences of Republicans capturing the Senate majority in the upcoming elections: Democrats' only tool to stop GOP-crafted legislation from landing on President Obama's desk will …

Tax reform and the family life cycle

Over the last several decades, one of the central objectives of conservative tax reformers has been to "neutralize" the tax code – to cut down on the incentives …

Small Business Coalition letter to Gov. Christie

  Sept. 15, 2014 The Honorable Chris Christie Governor of New Jersey State House Trenton, NJ 08625 Gov. Christie, We are encouraged by recent movements by the state Legislature calling for the elimination of the …

A negative income tax beats both the minimum wage and welfare

Recently, there have been demonstrations by fast food workers and labor unions calling for an increase in the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to a …

Ten great policy panels to vote for at SXSW

I recently wrote a short post highlighting the four panels we put forward for the 2015 SXSW Interactive conference, including the one I'll be on (along with folks from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the …

Family Business Coalition letter on the death tax

    Chairman Dave Camp H-208 U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 Congressman Kevin Brady 301 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 CC: Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris …

Joint letter on bonus depreciation

May 8, 2014 Dear Congressman: As Congress considers making some important pro-growth tax relief permanent this week, we write with a unified voice to also call for the permanent extension …

Homesick: How housing tax breaks benefit the wealthy and create McMansions

Since its inception a century ago, the individual income tax code has been exceedingly generous to homeowners.  Homeowners may deduct the interest paid on up to $1 million …

Congress should help, not hinder, private terror insurance markets

Earlier this week, I took part in what I found to be a lively and enlightening panel discussion on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the now-12-year-old federal program …

Tax credits and children: Parents should pay lower taxes, and childless people should pay higher taxes

When my mother was my age, she was working full time while raising three small children, and she spent every spare moment studying to finish a graduate degree. …

What the GOP can learn from the Koch brothers

Republicans are very enthusiastic about this year's midterm congressional elections, and it is easy to see why. Obamacare, the president's signature domestic policy legislation, remains unpopular. Turnout during …

Family Business Coalition letter to Gov. Cuomo

March 24, 2014 The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224 Governor Cuomo, We are encouraged by your budget, which calls for …

Rethinking tax benefits for home owners

The attached piece, which appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of National Affairs, was co-written with Ike Brannon and Zackary Hawley. The individual income-tax code offers a multitude of …

R Street concerned about protectionist reinsurance tax

WASHINGTON (March 4, 2014) - The R Street Institute today expressed concern about a plank in the White House's proposed 2015 budget that would impose protectionist taxes on …

R Street encouraged by preservation of credit union tax exemption in tax reform bill

WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed news that the credit union tax exemption is protected in the latest draft of the House Ways & …

The silliness of Florida’s film tax incentives

A spectre is haunting Florida: The spectre of running out of taxpayer money to subsidize Hollywood productions in the state! Tampa's Bay News 9 reports: Hollywood producers have been scouting …

GOP: Beyond repealing to reforming

The last time the federal government approached its statutory debt limit, Republicans in the House of Representatives fought tooth and nail to attach tough conditions to any increase. …

SOTU: Obama defines the challenge, but misses the solution

For those who care about wage stagnation, alleviating poverty and increasing income mobility, the president's speech Tuesday night was a mixed bag. Granted, it's difficult to delve deep …

Why I signed up for Obamacare

The deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare insurance exchanges for those who want coverage that starts on Jan. 1 is about to pass. Late last week, I became one …

Join today’s ‘Day of Action’ on electronic privacy

This week, Congress updated one outdated technology law, but they've left a more serious one languishing.  While Congress has renewed the Undetectable Firearms Act, which bans plastic guns, …

R Street concerned by protectionist reinsurance tax proposal

WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2013) – A new proposal from the Senate Finance Committee would raise catastrophe insurance rates by limiting the ability of foreign-based insurers and reinsurers to …

Another reason to defend the fraternal tax exemption

The Roman politician, general and renowned orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, once wrote that "custom is the best interpreter of the law."  Even today, his observations are relevant to …

GOP goes back to the future

Following the unmitigated political disaster that was the two-week government shutdown, there has been a heartening rise in the number of people on the right speaking out against …

Sen. Mike Lee’s plan to bolster middle-class parents

On Tuesday afternoon, a small but influential slice of the inside-the-Beltway conservative intelligentsia gathered at the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C.-based conservative think tank, to hear Utah Sen. …

Don’t tax credit unions…or community banks, either

With the suggestion box now clamped shut for the Senate Finance Committee's tax reform project, it bears pondering what the process is likely to mean for the future …

Coalition urges senators make tax reform proposals public

July 26, 2013 Dear Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch, We understand your committee is undertaking comprehensive tax reform.  We write to urge you to make all correspondence with the …

Family Business Coalition letter on tax reform

Dear Chairman Camp and Chairman Baucus, The undersigned members of the Family Business Coalition strongly urge you to make full repeal of the federal estate tax ("death tax") a …

A DC neighborhood’s ills: Bad policy knows no party

For the first time in the 15 years since I graduated from college and moved to the Washington, D.C. area, I feel like I'm working in a real …

You can’t tax credit unions if they don’t exist

After enduring months of salvos from the banking industry, credit unions are fighting back. The above video from the Credit Union National Association, one of the industry’s two major …

Why you just may come to like a carbon tax

Tax reform may involve simplifying the tax code, but actually achieving such a thing promises to be a terrifyingly complicated process. The battle over how (and by how …

Top 10 bogus arguments for the Marketplace Fairness Act

Whenever there are tens of millions of dollars worth of lobbying muscle behind a piece of legislation, folks seem willing to say just about anything to make a …

Grow your pie and eat it too

The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy By Reed Hundt and Blair Levin 101 pages; Odyssey Editions, 2012 A …

Time for a carbon tax?

The New York Times reports that the EU Parliament has elected to not remove carbon tax credits from the market, despite the price plunging from a peak of …

Cutting the corporate tax rate means cutting corporate taxes

In 1986, the United States cut its corporate tax rate close to the current rate of 35 percent as part of broad, comprehensive tax reform at both the …

R Street says ‘revenue neutrality’ shouldn’t be sticking point in corporate tax reform

WASHINGTON (April 19, 2013) – As Congress weighs whether to embark on significant tax reform in this session, lawmakers should take a page from other developed countries and …

REMINDER: Conservative groups oppose so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act”

After a sham vote during the debate over its budget resolution, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has apparently decided to engage ludicrous speed on the egregiously flawed legislation known …

Waiting for Obama

The Obama administration recently signaled to the business community that it could countenance some version of a territorial tax system for income earned abroad by U.S. businesses. Tax …

Defending deferral

National Public Radio’s Marketplace This Morning recently ran a piece on its show highlighting an in-depth investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting that focused on the ability …

Why John Harbaugh’s job is easier than John Kasich’s

A great source of frustration to me when I worked in corporate America was that the people I worked with and who lived in my community would organize …

Hawaii’s Legislature hopes to avoid new taxes

Having already witnessed the inauguration of President Barack Obama the first time around, I opted this week instead to attend the opening day of the newly elected Hawaiian …

Saving on snacks, the Washington way

I just saved $500 last night and I’m feeling quite proud of myself. It didn’t take much effort: I simply discovered that my local drug store sells my …

Durbin wrong on tax ‘loopholes’

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois recently appeared on CNN to voice his support for increasing government revenue by getting rid of various loopholes that allow individuals and companies …

Tax cuts require entitlement reform

Republicans “lost” the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, in the minds of some, when they acceded to higher tax rates on income over $450,000, as well as on …

Is it time for the X-Tax?

Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X-Tax Revisited By Robert Carroll and Alan D. Viard 222 pages; AEI Press, June 2012 What would a tax reform look like that would be acceptable to …

The pitfalls of reforming a broken system

Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage By Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell 440 pages; Yale University Press, 2012 The phrase “industrial policy” comes with a lot of baggage, …

The true cost of the fiscal cliff deal

In their negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff," the Democrats threw away a chance to get more revenue from the wealthy and to introduce modest changes to entitlement …

The ‘open for business’ tax plan

It’s not hard to find people in Washington who say they favor something called “fundamental tax reform.” President Barack Obama, for example, loves talking about the idea. In …

Once again, there’s no free lunch

The president seems to be holding most of the cards in the negotiation to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff". If no deal is reached by Jan. 1 (as …

The green(ish) case against wind power subsidies

As an energy source, wind power looks just about perfect: it creates no greenhouse gases, requires pulling nothing out of the earth, and relies on an inexhaustible resource. …

Backing away from the cliff

The broader long-term implications of the election should be apparent after the fiscal cliff is resolved. Whatever the outcome, it will not be the most important piece of …

The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the Fiscal Cliff

With the end of the year fast approaching, the conversation about how Congress should address the “fiscal cliff” is heating up. If Washington fails to act, the New …

R Street offers ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for lame duck Congress

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2012) –-There’s any number of legislative avenues down which the ongoing negotiations in Congress to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” could ultimately proceed, but some …

R Street offers ‘Tax Hit List’ for 113th Congress

WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2012) -- While Congress continues to debate the contours of a deal to avoid enormous tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at …

A tax hit list for the 113th Congress

As Congress ponders whether it can reach agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," this paper argues that, in addition to identifying credits, deductions, and exemptions that could …

Kill the farm bill

The Farm Bill is now stalled in the U.S. House as members head back to their districts for their traditional break. This is a good thing. The measure, …

Save the earth! Shrink the state!

America has some good things to show for its more than 40 years of intense environmental activism: the air and water are cleaner than they were and the …

R Street Institue says ‘Five for Florida’ should be blueprint for candidates, elected officials

Below is a statement from the R Street Institute’s Florida Director Christian R. Cámara: Americans for Prosperity’s "Five for Florida" is a bold initiative to bring public attention to …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

Letter from Austin: The trouble with Texas taxes

In 2006, Texas fundamentally changed how it taxed businesses in the state.  It replaced its long-standing franchise tax on businesses chartered in the state with a new tax …

Texas’ margins tax: principles for reform

This policy brief, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and Texas Director Julie Drenner, was issued by the Heartland Institute in February 2012. The pair looked at …

Bloomberg: Financial sector also must give up its tax breaks

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a D.C. audience that in addition to ending huge tax breaks and subsidies for the agricultural and energy industries, fiscal responsibility …

A flood floor vote, corporate taxation and Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

The U.S. Senate, riven as always by internal dispute, continues to sit on one of the few major bills—flood insurance reform—where a rough sort of bipartisan consensus appears …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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