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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

In justifying the subsidy to the Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said last month that it would be "cheaper to keep them" and that the state would get $3 back for every dollar it invests in the team. (Associated Press)

Scott Walker greenlights $250 million in taxpayer funds for NBA arena, angers fiscal conservatives

By Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will sign legislation Wednesday committing state taxpayers to pony up $250 million to help build the Milwaukee Bucks a new basketball arena, drawing fire from tea party leaders, who say it undercuts his claims to be a fiscal conservative champion. Published August 11, 2015

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Lois Lerner had another private email!

- The Washington Times

Lois G. Lerner used yet another private email account to do government business, the IRS revealed in a court filing late Monday that tries to clear up confusion over the former agency executive's email practices.

Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks in Derry, N.H., in this Aug. 19, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Donald Trump: 'I'm the king of the tax code'

- The Washington Times

Businessman Donald Trump says he's going to come out with a tax plan in the coming weeks that people at hedge funds will not like but that "pretty much everybody else" will love, declaring Friday that he's "the king of the tax code."

Lois Lerner's emails became an issue after she was singled out as a key figure in the IRS's treatment of tea party and conservative groups who sought tax-exempt status. The IRS improperly delayed hundreds of applications and sent out intrusive questionnaires asking what the agency now says were inappropriate inquiries. (Associated Press)

IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account

- The Washington Times

Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration's efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner's actions during the tea party targeting scandal.

Citizens for Self-Governance leader Mark Meckler said a number of GOP 2016 presidential candidates back a balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Associated Press)

Backers of constitutional convention stepping up campaign

- The Washington Times

Supporters of convening a new convention to amend the Constitution are determined to make it an issue in the 2016 campaigns, saying slow progress in the state-by-state fight hasn't discouraged them, and they will begin a major advertising push later this month to force the topic into the GOP presidential conversation.

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

10 tea party groups still awaiting approval from IRS

- The Washington Times

Ten tea party groups are still awaiting approval by the IRS years after they applied for tax-exempt status, Senate investigators revealed Wednesday in a report that recommends the tax agency issue a ban preventing employees who work on nonprofit applications from engaging in political activity.

Republicans demand Obama fire IRS chief John Koskinen

- The Washington Times

Republicans on House Oversight Committee on Monday called on President Obama to oust Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen for obstructing the committees investigation into the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups.

President Barack Obama, left, talks with Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" during a taping, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obama defends IRS, says tea party targeting didn't happen

- The Washington Times

President Obama defended the IRS Tuesday in an interview with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, saying the tea party targeting scandal was actually Congress's fault for passing "a crummy law" and that the real problem is the agency doesn't have enough money.

Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom 15th Annual Spring Kick Off, in Waukee, Iowa, Saturday, April 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) ** FILE **

Ted Cruz and tea partyers: Let the Ex-Im Bank stay dead

- The Washington Times

Sen. Ted Cruz and other conservatives told GOP leaders Wednesday not to let Congress revive the federal Export-Import Bank, an agency that financed the sale of U.S. goods overseas for decades but is creeping toward a slow death, after lawmakers failed to renew its charter by the June 30 deadline.

Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. (Associated Press)

Capitol Hill spending clashes revive shutdown fears

- The Washington Times

Congress returned from its July 4 recess Tuesday fumbling for a way to avert a second government shutdown in three years, as GOP majorities forged ahead with spending bills that President Obama has threatened to veto, saying they're insufficient to meet the nation's needs and are beholden to misguided spending caps.

Rahm Emanuel's Chicago to begin taxing online entertainment

- The Washington Times

Digital media companies and Chicagoans will now be slapped with a 9 percent "cloud tax" on streaming services, including popular entertainment outlets such as Netflix, through which city officials aim to generate $12 million. Collections will begin Sept. 1.

Lois Lerner is the former IRS official at the center of a controversy over how the agency treated conservative political groups. (Associated Press) **FILE**

IRS erased Lois Lerner's emails even after subpoena, audit says

- The Washington Times

The IRS erased backup takes with Lois G. Lerner's emails even after the messages were subject to a congressional subpoena, but it was an "unbelievable" chain of coincidences rather than a malicious intent to subvert Congress, the tax agency's inspector general said Thursday.

The White House this week once again is zeroing in on climate change, a top priority for President Obama during his final 18 months in office. (Associated Press)

CBO cautions Obamacare foes about full repeal

- The Washington Times

Obamacare stretches into much of the U.S. economy, and outright repealing it, as Republicans are gearing up to try one last time, would be a tricky proposition, according to the latest estimates from Congress' official scorekeeper.

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a stop at Panora Telecom Solutions, Monday, June 8, 2015, in Panora, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ** FILE **

Rick Santorum signs ATR tax pledge

- The Washington Times

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, has signed Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge committing to oppose and veto any efforts to raise taxes, the group said Thursday.

Recent Opinion Columns

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Gov.-elect Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

A bad tax law puts the government in the preaching business

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.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Lame-duck Congress may lay golden eggs for crony capitalists

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.

DUBAY: How to make a promising tax reform even better

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.