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Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska returns to her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, as work in the Senate begins to wind down toward August recess. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports repealing Obamacare mandate

By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she supports repealing Obamacare's individual mandate to hold insurance, giving a notable thumbs up to a contentious piece of President Trump's tax overhaul, though she stopped short of a full endorsement of the tax plan. Published November 22, 2017

Recent Stories

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens as President Donald Trump announces that the United States will designate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump touts tax cuts at Cabinet meeting

- The Washington Times

President Trump convened a Cabinet meeting Monday that he said would focus on "crucial domestic policy issues," including the push for Congress to pass a tax reform bill.

Once seen as a luxury of the corporate world, private planes are becoming increasingly common at U.S. colleges and universities as schools try to attract athletes, raise money and reward coaches with jet-set vacations. Iowa State University President Steven Leath, a pilot, acknowledged last year that he used a school plane for trips that mixed personal and university business, a practice that came to light after he damaged the aircraft in a hard landing. (Bloomington Normal Airport Authority via AP, File)

Democrats blast GOP plan's tax break on private jets

- The Washington Times

Republicans billed their tax overhaul as a way to clear out special loopholes from the bloated tax code — but the bill that will hit the Senate floor after Thanksgiving actually adds a host of new breaks on everything from private jet operators to citrus farmers.

Illustration on new GOP wisdom on taxes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Stupid Party gets smart

Republicans have long been known as "the stupid party." They do stupid things, like waiting until mid-November to pass a must-pass tax cut that should have been done by April.

In this July 12, 2017, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

NFIB endorses Senate tax plan

- The Washington Times

The National Federation of Independent Business, a leading small business lobbying group, on Wednesday threw its support behind the Senate's tax overhaul plan.

Democrats Miss the Tax Cut Ride Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The left is right to fear Trump's tax cuts

Liberals fear President Trump's tax cuts more than any of his policies. This explains the left's virulent opposition and that it will only increase as tax cuts approach enactment. The reason: Tax cuts offer Mr. Trump and Republicans greater political and economic potential than any other proposal.

Chart to accompany Rahn article of Nov. 14, 2017.

Making a tax cut affordable

The folks in Washington have a knack for almost always asking the wrong question, and then coming up with an answer that makes things worse. The current debate about tax reform is a prime example. Many Democratic critics, some Republican critics (mainly from the conservative side), and many in the media argue that we cannot "afford" a tax cut. In reality, we cannot afford not to cut tax rates.

Illustration on child tax credits by Linas Garsys/ The Washington Times

Investing in long-term prosperity

Though we don't agree on the overall tax package being debated in Washington, we do agree that Congress should act to increase the value of and access to the child tax credit and the child and dependent care tax credit for families with children ages 0-5 as key steps in helping low- and middle-income working families and investing in our country's long-term prosperity.

In this May 18, 2017, file photo, the Healthcare.gov website is seen on a laptop computer in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

CBO: Repealing Obamacare mandate saves $338B

- The Washington Times

Repealing Obamacare's mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance would save the federal government $338 billion over the next decade as 13 million people would forgo coverage, freeing the government from having to subsidize them, scorekeepers said Wednesday in an analysis could reshape the Republican push to overhaul the tax code.

The House Ways and Means Committee passed an amendment to the GOP tax overhaul Monday proposed by the committee's Republican chairman, Kevin Brady. (Associated Press)

GOP inserts newer amendments into its tax bill

- The Washington Times

House Republicans approved still more changes to their tax-cuts bill Monday, limiting a new tax increase on private colleges and universities to only the wealthiest schools and altering the way investment managers are taxed as GOP leaders try to build consensus among their members.

Illustration on tax reform helping with disaster recovery by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Overhauling taxes, helping woodland landowners

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were some of the strongest storms to hit the United States in a dozen years, causing widespread destruction, not just in our big cities, but in remote areas as well. The same type of widespread destruction was seen out West, with more than 8 million acres of forestland having burned due to wildfires this year.

Recent Opinion Columns

Illustration on draining the Washington swamp by Nancy Ohanian/Tribune Content Agency

The high cost of waiting to drain the swamp

"Drain the swamp!" It was the battle cry of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Many Republican members of Congress echoed that call as well, riding it to victory -- and control of both legislative chambers.

Chart to accompany Moore article of June 19, 2017

Much fast growth right around the corner

Every day there are legions of new economists who dismiss the Donald Trump economic agenda and his forecast of 3 percent growth as a wild-eyed fantasy. The consensus is that the economy "can't possibly grow at 3 percent" says The Wall Street Journal. "Slow growth is the new norm, so get used to it," writes Rucir Sharma, Morgan Stanley, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley in Foreign Affairs magazine this month.

State Sen. Tony Stamas, a Midland Republican, urges the Michigan House to pass economic development tax incentives on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich. Also pictured are Oakland County Deputy Executive Matt Gibb, left, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah and Gov. Rick Snyder. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

The cure is tax policy, not trade

America's lethargic economy isn't doing so good and President Trump's tax cut plan to get it growing again is stalled in Congress for the foreseeable future.

Illustration on President Trump's approach to regulation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Pulling the administrative state off autopilot

This past weekend marked President Trump's 100th day in office. While tax cuts and health care reform have been discussed, neither has moved forward. With a potential fight over the debt limit looming, there is surely a lot that could be said about what Mr. Trump has and has not accomplished over the last few months. But there is at least one bright spot: reducing burdensome federal regulations.

President Donald Trump holds up a pen he used to sign one of various bills in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, March 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo file photo)

Obstructions to tax simplicity

Thanks to the beneficence of the federal government (and the calendar), we Americans have until midnight on April 18 to file our income taxes. It's too bad filing taxes wasn't an easier process.

Act on Tax Reform Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Tax reform to jump-start the economy

President Trump's tax reform plan promises to re-energize the American economy, create jobs and slow the increase of the national debt. You might say that the Trump tax plan will "fundamentally transform the United States of America" after "decades of broken politics in Washington" and "eight years of failed policies" under his predecessor's administration -- to use Barack Obama's words from 2008.

Tax Reform for Economic Growth Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Thinking clearly about tax reform

President Trump has said he is going to move on to tax reform after the debacle with Obamacare repeal. Is there any reason that we can expect greater success with the tax reform effort? I argue no, unless the rules in the House and Senate are modified, and those in Congress, whose brains are connected enough to distinguish between tax rates and tax revenues, take control.

Illustration on the Trump budget by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Striking budget gold

What hypocrites liberals and the media are. For weeks on end they've been beating up President Trump for not taking the initiative on the $10 trillion debt build-up under Barack Obama or the runaway entitlement programs that could bankrupt our nation.

Big Bird arrives at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, in this Aug. 30, 2009, file photo. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

The Budget Theater, now open with the follies

- The Washington Times

A president's budget has the shelf life of a shrimp. A president drafts a budget and sells it with language as chaste and extravagant as the blue sky, and his naysayers dutifully mount their soap boxes to declaim, distort and denounce.

Chart to accompany Moore article of Sept. 5, 2016

The death tax is the unfairest tax of all

It was in 1916 -- 100 years ago this year -- that America made a big, big mistake that has done significant damage to our economy and the fairness of our tax system for an entire century. We are talking about the estate tax, more popularly known as the death tax.

From The Vault

Righting the Ship of Security Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A plan to save Social Security

It is no secret that what the major media seem to care most about is radically different from what concerns average Americans. While the inside-the-Beltway crowd continues to focus on alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, real concerns like the future of Social Security are ignored.

Gov. Sam Brownback gives a statement to the media Wednesday, June 7, 2017, concerning the Senate and House overriding his veto of a bill raising Kansas income taxes by $1.2 billion over two years. The governor left the news conference without taking questions.  (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

Kansas legislators abandon Brownback's tax experiment

- Associated Press

Kansas legislators have repudiated the tax-cutting experiment that brought Gov. Sam Brownback national attention, with even fellow Republicans voting to override his veto of a plan reversing many of the income tax reductions he championed in recent years as a way to fix the cash-strapped state's budget.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney holds up a copy of President Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget as he speaks to members of the media at the White House on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Trump sends optimistic budget to pessimistic Congress

- The Washington Times

The White House's newly minted 2018 budget sprints toward balance over the next decade by counting on a major economic growth spurt to boost revenue and deep cuts on the spending side -- all of it enhanced by more than a few gimmicks and wildly optimistic assumptions.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 10, 2017, during a meeting on healthcare. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) **FILE**

Budget hawks, anti-tax conservatives support Trump's infrastructure plan

- The Washington Times

President Trump's plan for a $1 trillion program to rebuild America's roads, bridges, railways and airports has won early support from leading budget hawks and anti-tax conservatives because it is expected to be more about regulatory reform and alternative financing than a federal spending spree.