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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Blackstone: Paying Normal Tax Rates

Heidi Moore, liveblogging the Blackstone conference call, picks up on something interesting: Puglisi tackles taxes. Regulators, are you paying attention? Here is what he says: “While our tax rates for the full year were approximately 15% for the fourth quarters … Continue reading

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Exxon Mobil Datapoint of the Day

Mark Perry: Exxon Mobil pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people. Or, to put it another way, you could abolish all taxes for the bottom 50% of … Continue reading

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Tax the Privately Educated

Chris Dillow wants to tax the privately educated more heavily. I think this is a great idea. And in fact it’s not all that far from one idea which really has been taken seriously in the UK: a higher rate … Continue reading

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Corporate Tax Revenue Datapoint of the Day

John Cassidy: From 2004 to 2006, corporate tax receipts grew at an annual rate of more than 25 percent. Last year, they totaled $354 billion, compared with just $132 billion in 2003. By my calculations, an increase from $132 billion … Continue reading

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Why The Low Capital Gains Tax?

Former Fed vice chairman Alan Blinder doesn’t
get it
, and neither, frankly, do I.
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Democrats Capitulate on Hedge-Fund Tax

This morning’s WSJ fronts
some Democrats’ second thoughts about taxing hedge-fund managers’ income as,
well, income.
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Bill Gross Joins the Billionaires-for-Tax-Hikes Club

Add billionaire Bill Gross, of Pimco, to the list of rich
men who want to raise taxes on the rich.
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Why Raising Taxes on Private Equity Won’t Increase Tax Revenues

The net revenue to the US from implementing this policy would be tiny: what you gain in taxes on general partners, you lose in taxes on limited partners.
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Tax Loopholes, Cont.

David Cay Johnston has revealed that $3.7 billion of the proceeds
from Blackstone’s IPO will be taxed not at the income-tax rate, not at the capital-gains-tax
rate, but rather at
a negative rate
.
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Private Equity: Why Higher Taxes Mean Higher Returns

The Epicurean Dealmaker has a
great argument
today for abolishing the favorable tax treatement given to
private-equity principals.
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Taxing the Tax-Exempt

It doesn’t make any sense to single out “debt-financed investing” for taxation in these days of extreme financial sophistication and embedded leverage.
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In Favor of a Private Equity Income Tax

The arguments against applying income tax to the income of private-equity principals are weak indeed.
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Milken Conference Post-Mortem

The Milken conference is probably unparalleled outside Davos for the ability
it affords to observe in their natural habitat the market movers after whom
this blog is named.
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Tax Tall People!

Tall people have many advantages in life, and not just when attending rock
concerts. They earn more money, they’re more likely to become president, they
can take stairs two at a time when they’re in a hurry. It’s not fair. We
should tax them!

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How Selfish is Robert Rubin?

Yes, Robert Rubin did very well out of his own economic policies. That’s a good thing.
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