President Obama is proposing to spend $5.5 billion on summer jobs for youth in his new federal budget, the White House said Thursday.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times
GOP presidential contender Ben Carson detailed his plan Monday to overhaul the federal tax code, calling for it to be scrapped in favor of a 14.9 percent flat tax on individual and business income. Published January 4, 2016
The IRS has put an emergency stay on deleting its computer hard drives and devices such as BlackBerrys, with the commissioner saying in a letter to Congress on Wednesday that the agency goofed in deleting a key hard drive last year that was supposed to be preserved as part of a court case.
The federal government is now officially $19 trillion in debt, according to the latest figures released by the Treasury Department Monday that show the Obama administration crossed that ignominious line late last week.
The government could have continued to pay Social Security and other critical payments in the event it reached its debt limit, but the Obama administration intentionally misled Congress about that to force Republicans to hike the borrowing ceiling, a House panel said Monday, citing internal Treasury Department documents.
Perhaps no one in the District embodies the debate over allowing city workers 16 weeks of paid family leave better than Andy Shallal. As the owner of Busboys and Poets and the Eatonville Restaurant, Mr. Shallal is an employer focused on keeping his eateries' costs down and their productivity up.
The federal government will be flirting with $30 trillion in debt within a decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday, blaming an aging population, new spending and tax cuts approved on Capitol Hill, and the growing burden from Obamacare for erasing the progress Washington had made over the past few years.
Rising college costs and heaps of student-loan debt are a direct threat to America's future, according to Senate Democrats who proposed legislative fixes Thursday and challenged Republicans to either join them or come up with a plan of their own in a pivotal election year.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed a $42.3 billion budget Wednesday that would fully fund the Democrat-led General Assembly's mandates on education, health care and other priorities, and leave hundreds of millions of dollars in savings — prompting debate on how best to spend the surplus.
The federal budget deficit will soar this year, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, after President Obama and Congress gave up on austerity late last year, embracing spending hikes and massive new tax cuts that have left the government awash in red ink.
The IRS leaves it up to individual employees to decide what's "fair" in audits, meaning the tax agency sometimes uses arbitrary criteria in deciding whom to review, the government's chief watchdog said Wednesday in a report Republicans seized on as proof that unfair targeting could still be going on.
A federal judge on Tuesday certified a class-action lawsuit against the IRS for its political targeting, advancing the cause of more than 200 tea party groups who said they were denied their First Amendment rights by the tax agency's actions.
Heidi Savage's clients felt like they received an extra Christmas gift last week when the Treasury Department said large employers would have an extra couple of months to complete and file a series of complex tax forms under Obamacare.
Call it the glitch that stole Christmas. The Internal Revenue Service issued over $46 million in erroneous tax refunds because of poor oversight and a computer glitch that, left unfixed, could cost taxpayers over $230 million over the next five years, according to a watchdog report.
Conservative activists are targeting House Speaker Paul D. Ryan for a primary challenge next year as retribution for the massive spending bill the Wisconsin Republican ushered through Congress at the end of the recent session.
Under a new enforcement provision passed into law earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service can revoke passports of serious tax offenders who owe more than $50,000 to the government.
The House approved a $620 billion deal Thursday that solidifies a laundry list of tax breaks for businesses and families while pausing Obamacare's tax on medical device sales, part of a one-two punch against the overhaul as Congress scrambles to finish its work before the year ends.
Having reached a deal on a nearly $2 trillion deal to keep the government open, President Obama and congressional leaders tried to build support Wednesday for the massive bill, which hikes spending across government, thrilling Democrats, and extends a host of special interest tax breaks, exciting Republicans.
Congress is poised to take the first major bites out of Obamacare's finances this week when it postpones a series of taxes intended to pay for the hefty overhaul — defying President Obama's pleas to leave his signature domestic achievement alone.
Flanked by ardent supporter and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she wants to go "even further" and tax the wealthy at even higher rates than those proposed by the Obama administration.
The new spending deal reached early Wednesday morning spans more than 2,000 pages, spends $1.149 trillion -- and lawmakers will have only a few days to digest it all before they're asked to vote on the legislation, which lays out Congress's priorities for the rest of fiscal year 2016.
Congressional leaders agreed to a budget-busting set of tax cuts late Tuesday as part of a year-end, clear-the-decks deal that marks a major reversal from the last four years' focus on deficits and streamlining the tax code.
Nine out of 10 customers got their Hoveround power scooters at "little to no cost," but American taxpayers were wrongfully charged tens of millions of dollars for scooters that did not meet Medicare reimbursement requirements.
Tea party targeting may be out, but wealth targeting is still very much in vogue at the IRS, where auditors target the wealthy and those with high incomes at much higher rates than other taxpayers.
The Clinton Foundation has voluntarily filed four years of amended tax returns after an error was brought to the organization's attention.
Forking over $399 for an iPhone is only the beginning: Wireless customers pay an all-time high of nearly 18 percent on average in combined taxes and fees on their cellphone bills.
The federal government has piled up debt since the latest budget deal was signed into law, tacking $462 billion onto the national credit card since Nov. 2 as the Treasury Department replenished its funds and began another round of borrowing to take it all the way into 2017.
Ben Carson distanced himself from his rivals in the GOP presidential race by advocating for an overhaul of the federal tax code that includes eliminating every tax deductions on the books -- including for mortgage interest payments and charitable givings.
House Democrats have introduced legislation that would impose a 10-cent tax on plastic bags nationwide.
The White House suggested Tuesday that it has the upper hand with congressional Republicans in year-end appropriations battles, saying new Speaker Paul Ryan can't afford the political mess of a government shutdown.
House lawmakers have filed 270 amendments to a multiyear highway bill that presents the first key test for newly elected Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
Already planning for a GOP president in 2017, Sen. Ted Cruz sent a letter Monday demanding that the Justice Department preserve all documents from its completed investigation into the IRS's tea party targeting, saying too many questions still remain.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, fighting to rise in the Republican presidential race, says he would allow U.S. companies to repatriate without penalty trillions of dollars they have earned and kept offshore and then create a new system ensuring Americans aren't double-taxed on foreign profits.
When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal Monday, his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn't like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.
Senate Republicans managed to wrangle enough of their troops to overcome a filibuster early Friday morning and pass the new budget deal, granting President Obama yet another debt holiday, busting the budget caps and boosting spending some $80 billion over the next two years.
With Democrats leading the way, the House passed a budget agreement Wednesday to boost spending in 2016 and 2017 and grant a debt holiday allowing for unlimited federal borrowing into the next president's term -- but not before conservatives mounted one last vote of defiance against outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner.
The budget deal that Republican and Democratic leaders reached this week makes the biggest changes to Social Security in decades, giving Republicans a small victory as they try to sell the agreement to skeptical advocacy groups in Washington and voters back home.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz began the impeachment process against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Tuesday, accusing him of misleading the public and destroying documents that were sought under a congressional subpoena.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Tuesday that the tentative two-year budget agreement is "a good deal" that will prevent another crisis over a government shutdown.
It's the government's equivalent of looking under the couch cushions for every last penny.
The White House and congressional negotiators reached the outlines of a deal Monday to suspend the debt limit and add more discretionary spending to this year's budget, as all sides look to clear the decks ahead of House Speaker John A. Boehner's retirement.
Speaker John Boehner is pushing to finalize the outlines of a deal to fund the federal government before he leaves Congress this week and hands the top House job over to Paul Ryan, congressional officials said Monday.
The IRS is still holding up the nonprofit applications of tea party groups, including one that has been waiting nearly six years for approval, as conservatives panned the Justice Department's announcement last week that it had cleared the tax agency, and former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, of any wrongdoing.
Touching off a furious battle with Congress, President Obama vetoed the defense authorization bill Thursday in a dispute with Republican lawmakers over spending limits and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Gov. Larry Hogan has announced a $135 million plan to redesign Baltimore's local and express bus systems.
Sen. Bernard Sanders' socialist views have made him a colorful and enticing presence in the Democratic presidential race, but he's under increasing pressure to explain his political philosophy as his plans for massive social programs and huge tax increases start to sink in with voters.
Social Security beneficiaries and federal retirees won't see any raise in their checks next year after a still-sluggish economy sapped inflation in 2015, the government announced Thursday as it reported the smallest deficit of President Obama's time in office.
If you were a half-dozen years behind on your taxes, Uncle Sam would almost certainly be knocking at the door. But at the Internal Revenue Service, millions of dollars are still being spent to upgrade computers to the 6-year-old Windows 7 operating system, which is two generations outdated.
After several years of GOP-imposed constraints the federal government opened the spending floodgates again in 2015, setting a new record with outlays of $3.688 trillion in the just-ended fiscal year.
Social Security recipients won't get a taxpayer-funded raise in 2016 after a still-sluggish economy and a drop in the price index showed seniors' costs haven't risen over the last year, the government reported Thursday.
While demanding an end to many tax breaks, Republican presidential candidates have been reluctant to do much about the biggest one of all: the mortgage interest deduction, which saps tens of billions of dollars from the federal Treasury every year.
The federal government has spent almost $1.5 million over the last five years to study obesity among pregnant women, with a specific focus on minorities.
Federal taxpayers ponied up $60,000 this year to fund a raunchy zombie-themed play -- an expense one senator says is a brainless example of waste within the government.
Obama administration officials promised the fine print of its massive free-trade agreement with other Pacific-Rim nations will be made public within 30 days, as they released a report Thursday showing the deal will cut taxes on more than 18,000 products exported from the U.S.
The city of Cleveland says it is within its rights to tax visiting professional athletes based on the number of games they play a year because taxation is a matter of local jurisdiction.
Senators overcame a filibuster on the annual defense policy bill Tuesday, delivering a significant victory to Republicans and teeing up a battle with President Obama over a threatened veto on the bill, which does everything from raising troops' pay to setting policy for Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Everyone from Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, wants to scrap the "Cadillac tax" on generous health care plans — a rare bipartisan push to tweak Obamacare — but there is little consensus on how to fill the $90 billion budget hole that a repeal would leave.
Billions of dollars worth of income once destined for tax collectors in Virginia, Maryland and the greater District of Columbia has instead bankrolled official government business elsewhere as new statistics highlight migration patterns among money-makers out of the mid-Atlantic.
The trust fund that helps pay for disability insurance under Social Security is on track to run out of money next year, a shortfall that would trigger a 19 percent cut in benefits. To avert these painful cuts, policymakers should overhaul the program by dropping the progressive benefit structure and replacing it with a flat benefit that will keep recipients out of poverty.
If you ever doubted that Christmas shopping really begins in September, look no further than Uncle Sam.
The House approved a stopgap spending bill Wednesday to fund federal operations for 10 more weeks, clearing the bill for President Obama's signature with several hours to spare before a midnight deadline to keep the government open.
Recent Opinion Columns
When politicians insist on "reforming" some program they mismanaged and destroyed, they always turn to the average American and begin explaining the "sacrifice" we have to make in order to save it.
Flawed and cumbersome tax laws afflict taxpayers everywhere, but few are as irksome, as silly and as constitutionally dangerous as Maryland's "stormwater remediation fee," also known as "the rain tax," including whatever penumbras and emanations that followed. Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, vowed during his campaign to free taxpayers from the overreaching state law that claims to protect the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways from polluted runoff, flooding and erosion. Together with others, he argues persuasively that it amounts to little more than a weather levy, with accompanying clouds.
The lame-duck Congress that will meet after the Nov. 4 election could lay a few golden eggs that will hatch into a new flock of crony capitalist ducklings. The gold would actually come from taxpayers. The politically well-connected are especially eager about an $18 billion giveaway to wind farms, a tax credit that benefits mostly millionaires and billionaires.
Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida recently laid out their vision of tax reform. They are right to push for reform. Our burdensome tax code is one of the major obstacles holding the economy back from reaching its potential. In the process, it is denying countless American families the opportunities they deserve.
If you pay people not to work, what do you think they will do?
A tobacco reduction conference hosted by the World Health Organization, the United Nation's public health agency, took a hostile and alarming turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting.