Did Barack Obama take Tax 1 in law school? I did, and I remember the first day of classes, when mild-mannered professor Boris Bittker asked a simple question, "What is income?" I was pretty confident I could come up with a quick answer and so were a lot of other students. By the end of the hour, after professor Bittker had politely punched huge holes in every student's definition, it was pretty clear that none of us could. Income is a slippery concept, especially slippery when you're trying to tax it. Read More
Susan Ferrechio - Senate's 'Gang of Six' close to revealing budget deal
While President Obama and Republican lawmakers squabble over how to cut spending in the 2012 budget, a bipartisan group of six senators is preparing to unveil their own proposal to reduce the nation's massive deficit soon after Congress returns from its two-week spring recess. Read More
Conn Carroll - Biden debt talks fail before they start
The White House had wanted 16 Members of Congress to participate in the new debt talks headed up by Vice President Joe Biden. Each caucus in the House and Senate was supposed to nominate four members. Instead, the Democratic House and Senate caucuses each named two and now the GOP has named only one per chamber. Speaker Boehner named House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as his representative while Minority Leader Mitch McConnell named the retiring Jon Kyl (R-Ari.). Read More
Hayley Peterson - Obama fine-tunes appeal to young voters
President Obama is branding Republicans as predators endangering education and scholarship money as part of his re-election strategy to reenergize the young voters who propelled him into office in 2008. Read More
Philip Klein - If rich aren't paying their "fair share," then what's fair?
Today, President Obama is kicking off a road show campaigning for raising taxes on higher income earners to help reduce the debt. We'll no doubt hear a lot about how the rich need to pay their “fair share.” Yet an analysis of tax data shows that wealthier taxpayers already pay a disproportionate amount of taxes and that their share under the current Bush rates is actually slightly higher than at the end of the Clinton era. Read More
Hayley Peterson - Obama: 'No such thing as a free lunch'
President Obama renewed his calls for higher taxes on the wealthy on Tuesday and said "there is no such thing as a free lunch." "For a long time Washington acted like deficits didn't matter... a lot of folks promised us a free lunch," Obama said in Annandale, Va., Tuesday morning. "We had a surplus back in 2000 ... but then we cut taxes for everybody including millionaires and billionaires... fought two wars... and we didn't pay for any of it." Read More
Timothy P. Carney - Paul Krugman, 'the wealthy,' and Barack Obama
Paul Krugman's latest column, headlined "Let's Not Be Civil," fitting engages in some misleading ad hominem. In this case, Krugman is trying to imply that non-liberals want lower taxes and smaller government because they are rich. Here's the relevant passage: Read More
Michael Barone - Has the tea party movement reached Finland?
Has the tea party movement reached Finland? Kinda sounds like it, from this account of the True Finns party, which increased its seats in parliament from 6 to 39 in the northern nation’s April 17 election. The True Finns don’t sound like quite my cup of tea, but their emergence is worthy of note. Read More
Conn Carroll - Ezra Klein’s lazy debt limit reporting
I don’t know why Ezra Klein wastes time writing his own blog posts when he could just as easily cut and paste from Treasury Department press releases. Here he is parroting Timothy Geithner’s chicken little routine on the debt ceiling yesterday: Read More
Timothy P. Carney - Athe-ocracy: What's behind France's Burkha Ban? Security, or statist secularism?
France's ban on the burkha and veil went into effect last week. Given that this sort of strict public dress code for women is usually found outside the liberal democracies of the West, the Burkha Ban is extraordinary. To what should we chalk up this lurch towards statism? Read More