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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS was logistically incapable of performing the email search requested by Congress because it would have required combing through 90,000 email accounts. (Associated Press)

White House that promised transparency refuses to cooperate with IRS probe

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times

The White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama's top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue — eventually. Published February 22, 2015

Recent Stories

Some taxpayers were shocked at the minimum $95 penalty for not having insurance in 2014. Many say they will not pay the fine. (associated press)

Taxpayers duck Obamacare tax, snubbing IRS

- The Washington Times

Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk.

Larry Hogan aims to kill Martin O'Malley's 'rain tax'

- The Washington Times

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan took the first step toward repealing the state's "rain tax," which is levied on property owners for land with impervious surfaces to pay for EPA-mandated programs to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

President Obama is pushing Congress to grant him fast-track trade authority, which would allow him to independently negotiate trade deals and then bring them to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments or filibuster. (Associated Press)

Tea party, Dems join forces to put Obama's Asia trade deal in jeopardy

- The Washington Times

The trade agreement that is the linchpin of President Obama's Asia policy is in jeopardy of breaking apart because of a lack of trust on Capitol Hill on both sides of the partisan aisle, with opposition mounting from tea party Republicans and rank-and-file Democrats who don't have faith in the president's ability to negotiate a good deal.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Millions in HUD money went to lobbying, not housing

- The Washington Times

Despite a prohibition against taxpayer money being spent to influence government, millions of dollars meant to provide housing to poor and underprivileged areas instead went to lobbying because of lax oversight by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Obama trade policy riles Democrats representing middle class

- The Washington Times

The political jabs hurled Thursday at President Obama sounded like the sorts of attacks he usually launches at Republicans, but it was a faction of House Democrats slamming the president for pursuing trade policies they say are hurting the same people he is trying to help with his "middle-class economics" pitch.

In a Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Obama says he won't accept budget that doesn't raise spending

- The Washington Times

With $3.999 trillion in total spending, more than $1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade and a host of controversial new spending, the 2016 budget President Obama submitted Monday amounted to a declaration of political war against Republicans on Capitol Hill, who flatly declared his plans dead.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican. (Associated Press)

No more 'ruling class culture': New legislation would jettison pensions for Congress

- The Washington Times

It is part of reforming the nation's capital, says Rep. Ron DeSantis. The Florida Republican has introduced the "End Pensions in Congress Act," legislation that would end pensions for all future lawmakers and those not yet vested into the congressional retirement plan. "The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington has evolved into a ruling class culture," says Mr. DeSantis.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, calling for an investment to move away from one-size-fits-all-medicine, toward an approach that tailors treatment to your genes.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ** FILE **

Obama's budget would raise taxes, eliminate spending caps

- The Washington Times

President Obama is introducing a $3.99 trillion federal budget Monday for fiscal 2016 that would eliminate what the White House called the "mindless austerity" of sequestration cuts and would raise taxes on capital gains and corporations doing business overseas.

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.