The White House predicted Friday that the federal government's budget deficit for the current fiscal year will hit $600 billion, an increase of $162 billion over last year's and a final sour note on President Obama's watch.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Puerto Rico's attempt to restructure debts at its insolvent public utilities, meaning the island territory must wait for Congress to rescue it from its swirling fiscal crisis. Published June 13, 2016
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to put a measure on the November ballot asking voters whether marijuana businesses should pay a tax to be used toward combating homelessness.
The Obama administration ignored its own advice and forged ahead with Obamacare payments to insurers without permission from Congress, House Republicans said Thursday in a scathing report that says the White House dismissed the Constitution's separation of powers and swiped $7 billion from taxpayers.
President Obama called on Congress Friday to break a partisan deadlock over funding to fight the Zika virus before lawmakers start their summer break later this month.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania says it would be wise not to underestimate presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and that Mr. Trump is tapping into the concerns of working class voters who feel like they've been left behind.
Virginia Rep. David Brat said presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump could have a tough time delivering on his pledge to protect entitlements without increasing the national deficit if he is serious about not making any cuts to the programs.
Saying nothing has changed at the IRS, House Republicans took the first steps toward impeaching agency Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday, with the Oversight Committee voting to censure him for thwarting the investigation into tea party targeting.
The House took a concrete step Tuesday to neuter the IRS in the wake of the tea party targeting scandal, approving legislation that would stop the tax agency from being able to request the names of major donors to nonprofit organizations.
The House Oversight Committee will vote this week on a resolution censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over his handling of the tea party targeting scandal, panel Chairman Jason Chaffetz announced Monday.
The IRS's computer hack was worse than previously admitted, and the tax agency failed to alert thousands of people that their information was stolen, and didn't give credit monitoring assistance to nearly 80,000 others who were targeted, an inspector general said Wednesday.
House Republicans unveiled a plan Tuesday to attack poverty "at its roots" by rewarding work, improving school programs and tailoring benefits to individual needs, although questions about presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump threatened to overshadow their plans once more.
More than three years after it admitted to targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny, the IRS has finally released a near-complete list of the organizations it snagged in a political dragnet.
The last time President Obama signed on to a plan to save Social Security, nearly five years ago, he agreed to a proposal that would have reduced the growth of benefits.
The head of the Democratic National Committee reversed course Friday and backed the Obama administration's bid to rein in "payday" lenders, after prior support for House legislation that would have blocked those very regulations threatened to deepen a rift between her and the progressive wing of her party.
The U.S. government spent more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars to study the question of whether cheerleaders appear more attractive when they are grouped together in a squad, according to a report released by Sen. Jeff Flake.
The way Congress' chief watchdog describes it, the government's plan to set up a new catfish inspection process is one of the clearest examples of wasteful spending in the federal budget.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has declined to testify in his own defense at a congressional hearing Tuesday, but insisted in a statement that his bungling of a subpoena doesn't rise to the level of "treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors" needed for him to be impeached.
The House's chief investigator introduced a resolution Wednesday censuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and calling for him to resign or be fired, saying he misled Congress and even tried to thwart a subpoena seeking former agency employee Lois G. Lerner's emails.
By Friday the House will have passed 18 bills to stake out a bigger federal role in fighting the nationwide opioid epidemic -- but as with so much else in Congress these days, the effort is turning into a spat over money.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump says he hopes to release his tax returns before the fall election, but also said that people don't learn very much from a tax return.
The outrage over federal money being spent to study penis bee stings doesn't extend to the White House, where President Obama's spokesman said Wednesday the government should be opening its pocketbook wider.
A spokeswoman for Donald Trump's presidential campaign on Wednesday downplayed the presumptive GOP nominee's reported comments this week about withholding his tax returns, saying Mr. Trump will be making his case to Americans on more important matters.
Just days before Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan meet to bridge differences and unify the Republican Party, the billionaire businessman again broke GOP economic orthodoxy and one of his most prominent and earliest supporters said she would work to oust Mr. Ryan from his post.
The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to combat money laundering, tax evasion and corruption with proposals that will make it harder for businesses to mask their finances and keep secret the identity of their owners.
Congressional Democrats pressured GOP leaders to act on two contentious fronts Wednesday, explicitly tying Puerto Rico's debt crisis to the island's ability to respond to the Zika virus that has infected nearly 600 residents and even caused one man's death.
Senate Democrats blocked the first of a dozen spending bills from advancing Thursday, mounting their second filibuster in as many days in protest of a GOP bid to disrupt President Obama's effort to bolster his nuclear deal with Iran.
The White House labored Thursday to explain a first-quarter economic report showing the weakest growth in two years, even as President Obama was trumpeting his mastery of the economy in a New York Times Magazine interview.
Conservatives are spoiling for an election-year spending fight, saying if President Obama wants any of the nearly $2 billion he has requested to fight Zika, the budget will have to be cut elsewhere.
An influential conservative group told Congress on Friday to pay for an emerging deal to combat the Zika virus by swiping dollars from other programs or using the annual budget process to prioritize the fight over other spending.
When Harriet Tubman replaces Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, will she be depicted carrying a gun?
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she's "very supportive" of the Philadelphia mayor's proposal to tax soda sales in order to pay for universal preschool.
Stung by a feverish outcry, the Treasury Department backed off its plan to ditch Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill and will instead oust President Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill, as part of a massive currency redesign intended to add more images of women's and black history.
The White House is opposing four Republican-sponsored bills to crack down on Internal Revenue Service operations, measures that the House plans to vote on this week.
A CBS News report said the Treasury Department will announce this week that it will redesign the $20 bill to include a famous woman's face, not the $10 bill as initially planned.
From the Zika virus to the contaminated water crisis in Flint to trying to rescue Puerto Rico from its debt crisis, Congress is once again faced with a series of thorny questions over just how much taxpayers will be asked to shell out.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama paid more than $81,000 in taxes last year on reported adjusted gross income of $436,065, for an effective tax rate of 18.7 percent, according to tax returns released Friday afternoon by the White House.
Congress' bill to rescue Puerto Rico from its debt crisis is not a bailout, House Republicans agreed Friday, but conservatives are still coming to grips with provisions that appear to rewrite the rules from under the island's creditors.
A federal judge said the IRS isn't to be trusted as he and his colleagues tried Thursday to figure out whether the tax agency is still targeting tea party groups for intrusive and illegal scrutiny.
The IRS says it has stopped targeting the tea party -- but three years later, the tax agency is still holding on to the sensitive information it pried from the conservative groups through invasive questions, and officials are even vowing to make the answers public.
Unable to pass an actual budget for the coming year, the Senate will rely on funding levels the parties agreed to last fall when it kick-starts the annual spending process with an energy-and-water bill next week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
Investigators identified nearly 2,000 cases of potentially phony disability claims stemming from a massive Social Security fraud scheme, but three years after the scam was first exposed, the government says it's still struggling to stop the payments.
Goldman Sachs agreed to a $5 billion settlement payment Monday, marking yet another Wall Street giant that's making up for its financial breaches through money -- but whose executives have yet to face criminal charges for helping send the country's economy into the Great Recession.
Government watchdog groups have filed a motion in federal court to compel the IRS to reveal how it determines when to initiate "church investigations" after accusing the tax-collecting agency of "stonewalling" efforts to bring to light its procedures.
The chief of the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday the U.S. needs new funding to "provide the protection that Americans deserve" against the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus that's been linked to serious birth defects in Latin America and has infected hundreds in Puerto Rico.
The IRS's computers remain vulnerable to hackers, the government's top auditor said Monday, saying changes were still needed months after the agency suffered a breach that saw hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' most sensitive information stolen.
A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday that he wants to adopt a fiscal 2017 budget before annual spending bills hit the floor, though conservatives who balked at last year's bipartisan spending deal said they cannot support a blueprint until Congress cuts $30 billion as part of must-pass legislation.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen blasted a House GOP-authored budget Wednesday and then tried to take the high road, saying Democrats will at least go through the motions of marking up a fiscal blueprint after Republicans ignored President Obama's proposal.
Republican leaders have agreed to stick to the higher spending levels President Obama is seeking as House Republicans released a $1.07 trillion blueprint Tuesday that is already spurring a feverish backlash among conservatives.
The Obama administration awarded $94 million in Obamacare money Friday to health centers on the front lines of the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, one day after Democrats complained that a Senate-passed bill to combat the crisis lacked necessary funding.
Obamacare's failed co-ops have not repaid a single dollar of the combined $1.2 billion they received in federal startup loans, Senate Republicans said Thursday in a report that argues taxpayers will never be made whole.
Halfway through tax season, uninsured filers are paying more than twice as much as they did last year to satisfy Obamacare's penalty for lacking coverage, H&R Block said Tuesday, in an analysis that says other customers still cannot match their incomes to IRS subsidies they got on the law's exchanges.
The Senate will postpone any action on the coming year's budget, a GOP chairman said Monday in the clearest sign yet that Republican leaders will struggle to forge a unified blueprint amid grumbling from conservatives and defense hawks over spending levels the parties agreed to in the fall.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has only been in the top job five months, and he's already managed to lose the good will of conservative activists who say the year-end spending deal that closed out the last session of Congress was a betrayal of principle.
U.S. employers added a robust 242,000 workers in February as retailers, restaurants and health care providers drove another solid month for the resilient American job market.
In yet another effort to frame his legacy, the president and his aides are hoping to convince Americans retroactively about the merits of the oft-derided $836 billion economic recovery act of 2009. While avoiding words such as "debt," they are pointing to cutting the unemployment rate in half, reducing the number of home foreclosures and helping the U.S. auto industry recover.
The White House budget chief told Congress Monday that President Obama would like to free up some, but not all, of the leftover money from the Ebola fight to combat the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Latin America.
Democratic lawmakers are at odds over tobacco policy -- with some pushing to increase taxes on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, and others trying to reduce taxes for premium cigars. Both bills face uphill battles to win over lawmakers.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will address Congress on Wednesday at a time of deepening uncertainty about the Fed's interest rate policies.
Introducing a federal budget that Hillary Clinton is sure to love, President Obama submitted a $4.14 trillion spending plan to Congress on Tuesday that would keep deficits in check only by relying on speculative liberal assumptions of tax increases, immigration reform and economic growth.
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.