Special Section - Taxes & Budget - Washington Times
Skip to content

Taxes & Budget

Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.

House Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (center), North Carolina Republican, said the conservatives' move to link immigration language to the farm bill would backfire. (Associated Press/File)

Farm bill, immigrant amnesty in limbo after defeat by conservatives, Democrats

By David Sherfinski - The Washington Times

House conservatives flexed their legislative muscle last week in helping defeat the farm bill that Republican leaders had been desperate to pass -- but even leading members of the right-wing rebellion said they are not sure what happens now. Published May 20, 2018

Recent Stories

Illustration on rising national debt by M.Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

'After us the flood'

In December, Congress adopted one of the most important tax reform laws in our nation's history. It is producing higher wages, better job opportunities and greater economic expansion than we've seen in a decade. According to the Congressional Budget Office, revenues for the first seven months of the fiscal year have increased because of economic growth. The tax cuts are indeed paying for themselves — and then some.

President of Finland Sauli Niinisto attends a press conference with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Helsinki, Finland, Monday Nov. 6, 2017. Heading into a week of meetings with Nordic countries and allies across Europe, Mattis must begin to articulate what has been a murky American policy on how the future of Syria unfolds. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)

Finis to a 'universal basic income'

Fans of the welfare state mostly the nave waiting for the streetcar to Utopia have dreamed for years of a "universal basic income" for everybody, paid by governments to layabouts and unemployables. The doughty Finns tried it, and to their surprise and disappointment it didn't accomplish anything beyond an expensive lesson in how human nature invariably works. Now they have discontinued their 16-month-old experiment in giving a no-strings-attached "universal basic income" to certain unemployed Finns.

Highland Arts Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Perez participates in a final walk-in Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. Communities and school districts are preparing for a historic statewide teacher walkout on Thursday that could keep hundreds of thousands of students out of school indefinitely. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Thousands of teachers in Arizona, Colorado to protest

- Associated Press

A wave of red-clad teachers will crash upon the Arizona state Capitol on Thursday for an unprecedented job action that will close schools for a majority of the state's public school students, part of an educator uprising that's also bubbled up in Colorado.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Claim: 71 percent of FBI's foreign counterintelligence budget diverted to Russia probe

- The Washington Times

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a retired military intelligence officer and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research says that over seventy percent of the FBI's current budget dedicated to foreign counterintelligence investigations have been diverted to support the probe's activities. Shaffer made the revelation on my radio program Monday afternoon on WMAL in Washington DC:

Unlocked from Poverty Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Unlocking America's full potential

Thanks to tax reform, deregulation and America's can-do spirit, our economy is strong. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2000, wages are rising, and businesses are bringing jobs back to the United States. Despite these tremendous economic gains, we have yet to unlock America's full potential.

In this April 18, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump listens during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, in Palm Beach, Fla. The Democratic National Committee on Friday sued President Donald Trump's campaign, Trump's son, his son-in-law, the Russian Federation and WikiLeaks. The Democrats accuse the defendants of conspiring to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election after breaking into DNC computers and stealing tens of thousands of emails and documents. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Death to the inflation tax

There's new interest in indexing the capital gains tax to account for inflation. This is something good for everyone that conservatives have been pushing for years. The White House is working now to determine whether the president has the legal authority to make this change in tax policy by his own hand. There's evidence that he can.

Illustration on fiscal responsibility and spending by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Budget blame where it belongs

While tax cuts take the budget blame, spending does the debt damage. Proponents of big government spending are happy to stoke the latest story in the narrative that America is under-taxed.

This March 22, 2013, file photo shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

House passes IRS overhaul after tax day glitches

- The Washington Times

The House moved Wednesday to force an overhaul on the IRS, voting to press the tax collection agency to become more customer-friendly -- just a day after the agency suffered a deeply embarrassing computer outage on the day taxes were due.

In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, lights shine inside the U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) ** FILE **

New threat to tax cuts

Congressional Democrats are campaigning for control of Congress in November on a pledge to repeal the recent tax reform tax cuts. That would increase taxes on working people and their employers, taking back the jobs, bonuses, pay raises, and economic growth and recovery that tax reform is already producing.

President Donald Trump waves as he leaves a roundtable discussion on tax cuts for Florida small businesses, in Hialeah, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Trump: Economy 'starting to rock' from impact of tax cuts

- The Washington Times

President Trump made a pitch in Florida on Monday for permanent tax cuts, criticizing incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson as an opponent of the recently approved tax-relief package who would try to raise taxes if his party takes control of Congress this year.

Chart to accompany Moore article of April 16, 2018.

The trillion dollar myth

There is an old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and we've learned that again with the Congressional Budget Office and its latest highly misleading fiscal forecast.

Tax Day Harvest Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

For many, Tax Day will be a bit less gloomy

Federal income tax returns for 2017 must be postmarked or submitted electronically to the IRS by midnight April 17 this year — two days later than usual.

Illustration on military preparedness and budgeting by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

An opportunity for defense savings

In Washington, one particular theme animates nearly every conversation about government spending: Sequestration and the "readiness" of the U.S. military. But with the budget agreement of early 2018, Pentagon spending was boosted by almost $150 billion over the next two years. Discussion has now shifted toward how this new budget will be spent.

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Monday, April 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trillion-dollar deficits come roaring back under Trump

- The Washington Times

Republicans' tax cuts and the new spending bill Congress approved last month will send the economy surging this year to 3.3 percent growth -- but will also send the deficit soaring back to the record levels of the early Obama years, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

In this Jan. 30, 2018, file photo, an employee of Aldi, right, takes an application from a job applicant at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Friday, April 6, 2018, the U.S. government issues the March jobs report. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

U.S. added modest 103K jobs in March; rate stays 4.1 percent

- Associated Press

U.S. employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of robust gains, though the government's overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains fundamentally healthy.

In this May 21, 2013, file photo, tea party activists demonstrate on Fountain Square before marching to the John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati to protest the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, a federal judge gave preliminary approval to a $3.5 million settlement of a lawsuit against the IRS over alleged targeting of tea party and other groups. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

IRS smackdown of $3.5 million to tea partyers doesn't go far enough

- The Washington Times

Oh, happy day. Once in a while, justice is served, the good guy does win and the Big Bad Wolf at the Little American's door gets the kick in the arse it deserves. The Internal Revenue Service was just smacked with a preliminary order from a federal judge to pay up $3.5 million in settlement monies to tea party and conservative groups.

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.