Category Archives: taxes

How Much Will a Wells-Wachovia Deal Cost Taxpayers?

Anybody following the fight between Citi and Wells Fargo has to read Binyamin Appelbaum’s front-page piece in the Washington Post on the tax assumptions behind the Wells Fargo offer. In touting the deal, Wells Fargo executives said they did not … Continue reading

Posted in banking, fiscal and monetary policy, M&A, taxes | Comments Off

Is a Windfall Tax a Populist Pander?

Barack Obama’s economic policy, says Justin Fox, is "a hard-to-summarize mix of moderate Democratic standbys, populist silliness and the occasional truly visionary proposal". His example of an Obama "populist pander"? He favors a windfall profits tax on oil companies (which … Continue reading

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy, Politics, taxes | Comments Off

Corporate Taxes vs Income Taxes

Confused by the fight between Greg Mankiw and Brad DeLong over whether or not we should cut the corporate tax rate? Well, this is likely to confuse you even more: Steve Waldman has a great evisceration of Mankiw’s arguments – … Continue reading

Posted in taxes | Comments Off

When a Retirement Plan isn’t a Savings Plan

What’s the difference between saving for retirement, on the one hand, and plain old saving, on the other? Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at the New School, has a provocative book out, entitled "When I’m Sixty-Four: The Plot against Pensions and … Continue reading

Posted in entitlements, fiscal and monetary policy, taxes | Comments Off

It’s Time to Pay Sales Tax Online

It’s rare that I unreservedly praise a WSJ column – after all, where’s the fun in that. But Lee Gomes today is entirely correct that the time has long since come for web-based merchants to start collecting sales tax. Do … Continue reading

Posted in taxes | Comments Off

Gesture Politics Done Right

Bryan Caplan famously defended the economically-illiterate McCain-Clinton plan to suspend federal gas taxes on the grounds that it was the least bad way for Congress "to show the voters that it feels their pain". At a cost of just $9 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, taxes | Comments Off

Taxing the Harvard Endowment

John Hechinger reports that lawmakers in Massachussetts are considering a 2.5% tax on the portion of college endowments that exceed $1 billion. Such a tax would raise $1.4 billion a year, with 60% of it coming from Harvard. Greg Mankiw … Continue reading

Posted in education, taxes | Comments Off

Tariff Barriers in Practice

Apologies for the late start today, that normallly shouldn’t be a problem for someone six hours ahead of New York. But you’ve never really understood what tariff barriers are until you’ve stood in a German customs office for five hours … Continue reading

Posted in taxes | Comments Off

How Economic Illiteracy Could Doom Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown is arguably the most economically literate head of state in the world. Which is maybe why he felt comfortable tinkering with the UK’s income-tax system. But as John Kay says, Tax is always more complicated than you think … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, taxes | Comments Off

Why The Low Capital Gains Tax? (Redux)

Portfolio’s editors, in the April issue of the magazine, tackle the issue of which Bush tax cuts should be left to expire in 2010, and which should be extended. I like the idea of a flat 15% inheritance tax rate … Continue reading

Posted in fiscal and monetary policy, taxes | Comments Off