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Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's make a deal: An outline emerges to avoid 'cliff'

Posted by on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Ezra Klein is Twittering details of a congressional deal on taxes and spending (at least it's a deal on the Senate side; House Republicans such as Tiny Tim Griffin have yet to be heard from on a deal that would increase taxes on the well-to-do). What Ezra is saying so far:

6. Deal raises about $600b — and maybe a bit more — in taxes over 10 years. As always details can change, but that's where it is now.

5. Estate tax set at $10m exemption but 40% rate.

4. Sequester unclear. Prez wants to offset with taxes and spending cuts. R's only want to offset with spending cuts.

3. UI and business cuts extended through 2013. Stimulus cuts for 5 years. Medicare cuts stopped with offsets. Payroll cut expires.

2. Dividends and cap gains taxes at 20% of the $400k/$450k levels. PEP at $250k. Pease at $300k.

1. Details on the deal: 39.6% tax rate for individual income over 400k/family income over $450k. AMT patched permanently.

Here's more from Politico. This deal won't be completed today, if ever.

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Speaking of Fiscal Cliff, Taxes

  • The lobbying effort to stop Tax Day from being easier for taxpayers

    April 15, 2014
    I wrote last week the fact that the IRS could easily auto-prepare personal income taxes for American taxpayers. Auto-preparation could would save Americans $2 billion in tax preparation fees per year and 225 million hours per year in time spent preparing our taxes. But tax preparers like TurboTax make big profits off of the current hassle and form an unholy lobbying alliance with anti-tax crusaders like Grover Norquist, who want who want taxes to be as annoying as possible so that people will be more likely to oppose taxes. A great piece in ProPublica does some digging on this scandalous lobby's efforts at an astroturf campaign against a simpler filing system, and reports that a lobbying group linked to Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is involved in trying to encourage community leaders to write Op-eds and letters to Congress (all of them remarkably similar in content and language), claiming that "return-free filing" would hurt the poor. /more/
  • Low-income Arkansans pay higher proportion of their income in state and local taxes than the rich do

    April 15, 2014
    Here's another Tax Day chart, via Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. When you factor in the impact of sales taxes, the lowest-income Arkansans pay a larger share of their income in state and local taxes than the super-rich do. Here's their full report on this subject, from October. In related news, also worth checking out their report on income inequality in the state from last February. /more/
  • Putting U.S. taxes in perspective

    April 15, 2014
    The folks at are celebrating Tax Day with charts and graphs! Above, taxes as a percentage of gross domestic product since 1965. Meanwhile, they also feature charts showing that income individual taxes in the U.S. are about average as a percentage of GDP compared to other nations measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whereas corporate taxes are below average. /more/
  • Organizations rally for tax fairness at Capitol

    April 15, 2014
    Representatives from Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), along with other local organizations, will speak on tax and budget fairness at a rally at the Capitol today at noon. The event, part of a series called "Truthful Tuesdays" coincides with the income tax deadline today. /more/
  • Tax day should be easier

    April 11, 2014
    With the deadline for filing income taxes fast approaching, it's a good time for a reminder that filing individual income taxes could be quick and basically automatic for most Americans. In most cases, the IRS has all the information it needs to do your taxes for you. /more/
  • A tale of two states: Texas and Arkansas and the shale boom

    March 18, 2014
    Smart money says the Republican majority will override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a tax break on sand used in fracking for gas and oil. It's clearly an unconstitutional measure because it didn't get the two-thirds vote necessary to consider non-fiscal items in a budget session. But it's also bad policy and a sweetheart deal. /more/
  • February state tax take below forecast

    March 4, 2014
    February as another month of mixed results on state revenue, though the total still came in ahead of last year. The key monthly numbers, including poor results on sales taxes: /more/
  • Corporate tax rates don't necessarily mean big tax bills

    February 26, 2014
    A new report from the Citizens for Tax Justice of the country's biggest corporations shows that many don't pay anything like the top 35 percent corporate income tax rate. Many pay nothing at all. /more/
  • Schools closed in Pulaski; what else? Mike Ross policy talk still on.

    February 4, 2014
    The expectation of coming ice prompted closure of all school districts in Pulasi County today  /more/
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More by Max Brantley

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    There's ample reason for ethics, judicial and perhaps even prosecutorial review of the curious creation of a group of political action committees solely funded by contributions from Fort Smith nursing home magnate Michael Morton.
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    The big story isn't campaign finance funny business except to the extent that it reflects a much larger story about justice in Arkansas. Gilbert Baker and co. have worked for year in the employ of forces who want to make it harder to sue for damages in Arkansas courts: the so-called "tort reform" campaign of big business.
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