ESR spotlight on tax and budget issues

Recent articles about tax and budget issues that have run in Enter Stage Right

The U.S. government plans to default on debt the dishonest way: At a certain point the amount of debt that the US has piled up over the decades will become unsustainable -- if it hasn't already -- and the inevitable will happen, writes Mike Gleason

$1 trillion coins instead of more federal debt?!: Republicans and Democrats are once again posturing over the issue of raising the debt ceiling -- and make no mistake, it will be raised -- but the long term effects are being ignored, argues Stefan Gleason

Et tu, Donald: The 2018 budget, submitted by Donald Trump earlier this month, is nothing less than an utter betrayal of what he ran on and what his supporters expected of him, writes Robert T. Smith

Tax rates: A surprisingly important factor in labor supply: Peter Wolf argues that a near classic essay by economist Edward C. Prescott back in 2004 shows that tax cuts help stimulate labour supply -- something that supports Donald Trump's proposed tax cuts

Why tax cuts are such a heavy lift: The Senate may hope to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut at some point but Dr. Peter Morici believes the plan faces a number of reality checks -- including a massive budget deficit

Tax reduction and simplification — How to defeat the Demos: The drive for tax reform has started and Mark Alexander has objectives and a game plan for Republicans if they actually wish to win this battle

The difficult first step: Donald Trump's first proposed budget as president is what Daniel M. Ryan refers to as a "turnaround budget", a cold splash of water for an organization -- the federal government in this case -- that desperately needs it

Ax the Income Tax: For Americans tax day -- April 15 -- is coming up and Dr. Peter Morici argues that the income tax should be retired in favour of a value added tax

Let the budget battles begin: The announcement last week of a proposed budget will once again set the stage for a battle between those who are concerned for the future and those who simply don't care, writes Alan Caruba

Tax reform: Eliminate the income tax and IRS altogether: Would eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a value added tax actually help the American economy? Dr. Peter Morici believes so

The financial collapse of America: Including unfunded liabilities the U.S. faces nearly $90 trillion in debt. Alan Caruba argues that unless something changes quickly, the future of the country is dark

House GOP has nothing to offer conservatives: Last week's budget plan -- that has been endorsed by the House GOP -- is a betrayal of conservatives, says Michael R. Shannon

Obama's costly victory on debt ceiling: Barack Obama may have won the war over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling but Dr. Peter Morici says the U.S. paid a heavy price

Leftist fanatics responsible for government shutdown: Barack Obama is blaming Republicans for the government shutdown but Dr. George Reisman says fanatics among his ranks should be feeling the heat

Raising the debt ceiling, a fool's journey: Democrats may be warning of dire consequences of not raising the debt ceiling but Dr. Peter Morici says it will be a good thing in the long run

Deja vu: The pretend debt ceiling crisis: Rachel Alexander isn't convinced that there is a debt crisis...rather she views it as a spending crisis

The face of tyranny: Barack Obama's refusal to negotiate with Republicans in Congress to end the government shutdown shows that history does repeat itself, says Alan Caruba

Facing tyranny, the GOP had no choice: While he doesn't fully endorse the Republican position on Obamacare, Dr. Peter Morici says the GOP had no choice but to act against it

Another pretend government shutdown: The media may be breathlessly reporting about the U.S. federal government's shutdown but Rachel Alexander is less then impressed

Federal government: Embarrassing to the point of painful: The battle over the shutdown has shown that government in America has simply grown too much, writes Frank Salvato

The e-tax scam: The e-tax that many Senate Republicans are supporting has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with politicians attempting to avoid an unpopular move, says Mark Alexander

Obscene government waste: If the debate over sequester has done anything, writes Alan Caruba, it can be credited with focusing attention on government spending

Economics 102: Economics is a topic that usually sparks an argument but Dr. Robert Owens feels compelled to lay out some basic truths everyone seems to be ignoring

President Obama's sequestration strategy to oust House Republicans: Barack Obama says Americans will suffer is if automatic across the board spending cuts happen on March 1. Dr. Peter Morici says argues he's playing political games

Predistribution: Anyone got a spare joint?: Current economic policy is so out of touch with reality that Chris Clancy thinks some people must be on the wacky weed

The sequester, the constitution & President Obama: Barack Obama is a self-styled constitutional scholar and yet everything about the approaching budget sequester does violent harm to the nation's constitution, argues Frank Salvato

The principles of taxation: The more things change, the more they stay the same. For all the wonders that technology has brought us, writes Alan Caruba, some economic principles remain the same

Temporary fiscal cliff compromise full of pork, tax hikes and spending increases: No one outside of Washington, D.C. seems particularly pleased with the agreement to temporarily avoid the fiscal cliff and that includes Rachel Alexander

The debt ceiling, revenue & the progressive overreach: Later this month Barack Obama will take the oath of office and Frank Salvato says Americans need to ask themselves some questions

Solution? What solution?: J.J. Jackson says Americans shouldn't think much of the "solution" that their representatives in Washington, D.C. came up with

Time to remove Boehner as speaker?: Rachel Alexander argues that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be stripped of his position for undermining conservatives in the GOP

I'll see your economic collapse and raise you national demise: Selwyn Duke wonders if the solution to the fiscal cliff isn't something a little more extreme than simply raising taxes or cutting spending

Happy days are here again: The media and the ruling party in Washington, D.C. both say that things aren't so bad. Therefore, Dr. Robert Owens says we should all be happy!

Harry Reid strikes again with obstructionism!: J.J. Jackson says Republicans gave Democrats a chance to vote on a proposal by Barack Obama to end the fiscal crisis but Harry Reid decided against it

The jackass caucus's 'Grecian Formula' for economic collapse: Mark Alexander, like you, is tired of hearing about fiscal cliffs but gamely he analyzes Barack Obama's attempts to pass budget measures

The Stupid Party is going to raise taxes: John Bender argues that the Republicans hold the strong hand in the fiscal cliff crisis but it looks like they'll eventually relent and vote for higher taxes when they don't have to

Let Obama leap the fiscal cliff alone: The GOP will be blamed if the US goes over the figurative cliff so Michael R. Shannon says it's time to simply give Barack Obama what he wants

The engineered collapse: Robert Rohlfing can't help but think that the looming fiscal cliff isn't some modern invention created by irresponsible politics...but a long-term plan

America went over the fiscal cliff long ago: All this talk of American rapidly approaching a fiscal ledge is sadly humorous to Alan Caruba. He dates the real fall several decades ago

Prepare for the tantrums to get worse: As the "fiscal cliff" looms ahead J.J. Jackson believes that the political left will behave like a six-year old child if they don't get exactly what they want

Tax the rich or we'll kill this dog: Last week's threat by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray to raise taxes for everyone reminded Frank Salvato of an old but famous magazine cover

Can we avoid "Taxmageddon" in 2013?: Alan Caruba believes that unless Barack Obama is defeated in November that a financial catastrophe will slam the United States

Dems want to give new meaning to the phrase "if it moves, tax it": Chuck Schumer wants to tax the heck out of anyone attempting to move assets outside of the U.S. J.J. Jackson believes the senator doesn't understand why someone would want to do that sort of thing

Myths about taxes and the rich die slowly: It seems the truth about taxes and the rich never gets out so once more J.J. Jackson wades into murky waters to present some facts

Outing the progressives and liberal Democrats on the Ryan budget: That the left has reacted so vehemently against Paul Ryan's proposed budget says much about them, writes Frank Salvato

You will never get right answers asking wrong questions: J.J. Jackson likes some aspects of Paul Ryan's budget but he says the congressman made some assumptions which doomed it from the start

Obama's budget blather: Mark Alexander found Barack Obama's proposed budget last week to be jaw-dropping in what it will create and portends for America

I agree! Everyone should pay their fair share!: Some people should be careful what they wish for if they want everyone to pay their faire share of taxes, says J.J. Jackson

The tax plan that's better than Cain's, Perry's or Gingrich's: All the primary GOP challengers have their own tax plans but Selwyn Duke says they all have one Achilles' Heel and offers up his own solution

We already have a national sales tax: Well intentioned folks are arguing that America needs national sales tax to promote fairness and raise money. J.J. Jackson has some news for them: They're already paying a national sales tax

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 would be good for the economy: The media may be mocking Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax proposal but Dr. Peter Morici says it's a good idea for several reasons

Flirting with the Great Depression 2.0: Alan Caruba argues that the United States is in severe danger of repeating economic history

Truth versus the politics of Washington: In a couple of minutes J.J. Jackson managed to come up with a balanced budget, one that few on Capitol Hill would vote for

Scapegoats and deficits: Everyone is playing the blame game on the American deficit and Peter Morici that's managed to solve nothing...including some of the suggestions being bandied about

The corrupt bargain: The Tea Party that swept the 2010 elections and made Boehner Speaker clearly want an end to an ever-increasing debt. Yet every plan of the Republicans merely slows the growth of the debt, writes Dr. Robert Owens

The debt ceiling is actually not the issue: All the rhetoric over the past months has been about the debt ceiling but Frank Salvato argues that other matter related to the discussion are more important

What power to tax and spend?: Mark Alexander says there is one question that is not being asked by everyone involved in the debt ceiling debate -- not that you'll hear anyone today bringing it up

The way to win the debt ceiling and budget battle: Bruce Walker says he has a way for the GOP to prevail in its battle over the debt ceiling

If debt is the enemy then there are traitors among us: Simple math proves that there is no "debt ceiling crisis" and Frank Salvato argues that it's merely a ruse

A sign of sanity amid the budget banter: Amidst all the yammering last week over the debt ceiling, Mark Alexander says there was a glint of common sense seen

Embracing defeat in the debt ceiling debate: Amidst tough talking Republicans on the debt ceiling there was a predictable voice urging defeat, says Michael R. Shannon

Democrats faking debt ceiling crisis in order to continue irresponsible spending: Rachel Alexander argues that the Democrats are creating a crisis over the debt ceiling for one reason only: continued and uncontrolled spending

The false-flag of the debt ceiling 'crisis': Frank Salvato charges that the Obama administration is playing games when it says failing to raise the debt ceiling would create a crisis

Social Security checks won't go out. Again.: If you've lived long enough the claim that the debt crisis will stop Social Security checks from being mailed out might seem a familiar one, writes Michael M. Bates

Aviation justice and the debt ceiling: Barack Obama's campaign against corporate jet owners as part of his budget showdown with the GOP doesn't impress Michael R. Shannon

No default, no shutdown inevitable if debt ceiling talks fail: Dr. Peter Morici says talk of default and shutdowns by the beginning of next month are merely scare tactics and that both sides need to get serious

The debt ceiling and scaremanship: Daniel M. Ryan would agree with a newly increased debt ceiling for the U.S. federal long as it was linked to spending cuts

Would getting the economy on track give us a free pass out of the federal budget mess?: Many hope that a return of strong economic growth would solve many of America's fiscal issues but Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson argue that the problems are too big for that to happen

A born again Bush booster and the stealth stimulus: Barack Obama may have relented in his war against the Bush tax cuts but Dr. Robert Owens argues what everyone was really discussing is how much of the money we earn they can afford to let us keep

Is the USA too big to fail?: People seem to believe that the U.S. and its economy are eternal. Alan Caruba says everything is suggesting otherwise

Tax and spend again: At a conference last week Barack Obama made it all but clear that in the future he expects to raise taxes and spend more money, argues Joseph Randolph

Eliminating the terror that is April 15: Eliminate the federal income tax? With some caveats Steve Martinovich thought Ken Hoagland's The FairTax Solution: Financial Justice for all Americans was on the right path

We want a "FairTax" now!: Alan Caruba is familiar with the FairTax concept and as the title of his essay would indicate, he's all in favour of it

$3.8 trillion? Shame on you, Mr. President: When Barack Obama announced his proposed budget last week Carey Roberts had trouble even visualizing the numbers

Let's get fiscal with Budgetball!: There's a new game called Budgetball which is enjoying growing popularity in the United States and Kevin Gaudet says it should be imported to Canada

Make tough deficit decisions now: It wasn't long ago that Canadians were enjoying budget surpluses and a diminishing debt. Kevin Gaudet says it's time for the federal government to tighten its belt

Someone else's problem: Massive deficit? Exploding national debt? Dr. Robert Owens is sure glad that it's Someone Else's problem and they'll take care of everything

Fatherly advice for deficit avoidance: Last week Canada's Conservative government announced a far larger deficit than expected. Kevin Gaudet has some friendly, fatherly advice for them

Avoiding a chicken little budget: Canada is about to throw around taxpayer money and register a deficit budget all based on unwarranted panic, says Kevin Gaudet

The case for a balanced budget: Canada's federal government is about to run a deficit for the first time in twelve years. Kevin Gaudet says it doesn't have to happen if the Conservatives are willing to make some tough decisions

Goodale's gaffe: John Williamson believes that it will be very easy for Canada's Conservative government to avoid a budget deficit. All they have to do is cut spending

Another big budget blow-out: Would it surprise Americans to find out that the Democrats intend on raising their taxes in the near future? Nathan Tabor reports on their plans

In praise of investing money gained from tax cuts: Remarkably, some people are opposed to tax cuts for the wealthy because the money would be used for investments. Gennady Stolyarov II answers those objections

Taxpayers find an unlikely advocate: The Ontario premier: Canadians will doubtless be surprised to learn that a liberal tax-hiking premier is the one fighting hardest for taxpayers at the moment, says John Williamson

Name the date – Fastest rise in federal spending since FDR: What has George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress done that not even Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton could equal? Paul Weyrich says it's spend like few have spent before

Tax returns: Confidentiality, not an open door: Stephen M. Lilienthal reports that America's IRS should be working to insure that your sensitive data remains a secret, rather than contrary to that goal

Taxation without frustration: In a few short weeks it will be time to pay the piper but Thomas Lindaman has a tax plan which should make it less painful

Harvard tells the truth on taxes: Harvard University finally admits that Americans are earning less and paying more in taxes but their justification rings false, says James Atticus Bowden

A realistic budget from a realistic steering committee: Paul M. Weyrich says the proposed budget produced by the Republican Study Committee is among he has ever seen and deserves to be passed in toto

The AMT must be destroyed: Delenda est AMT. The Alternative Minimum Tax harms both Americans and the businesses they own and it's time for its death, argues Rod D. Martin

The original intent behind good government: Nancy Salvato believes that the "Fair Tax" would promote much better government, both at the state and federal level

The unwritten Sousa march – "Bankruptcy Forever": If only John Philip Sousa were alive today. Marion Edwyn Harrison writes that the great American composer could have written quite a stirring march documenting the spendthrift nature of those in Washington, D.C.

Georgia on my mind – on Tax Day, at least: Whether you support the notion of a flat tax or not, argues W. James Antle III, the fact that former Soviet republics have easy to understand tax systems should be a prompt for tax reform in the United States

An incredible opportunity for Congress and America: Frank Salvato argues that the FAIR Tax Bill is a wonderful opportunity to replace America's regressive tax structure with a consumption based tax

The soaring debt: Sam Brownback's proposed Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies wouldn't solve all problems but it would be a step in reforming government and cutting spending, argues Paul M. Weyrich

What a state we're in!: Towns and cities all across the United States are failing as businesses and residents flee tax-loving, high-spending municipal governments. Lady Liberty got a first hand taste of why this is happening after attending her community's recent State of the City speech

Small government conservatism in big government America: Why is America's government growing? Even Republicans and some conservatives are promoting their proposals with statist rhetoric. Changing that will take a lot of work, argues W. James Antle III

Scrap the cap? The Social Security debate gets taxing: Read my lips! Is George W. Bush serious when he says he won't raise the payroll tax rate as part of his Social Security reforms? W. James Antle III wonders if the era of tax hikes is about to begin in an effort to get everyone on board

To cut or not to cut -- the fiscal conservative's question: Tax code reform and the fate of Social Security promise to force economic conservatives to answer some difficult questions this year, says W. James Antle III

Getting a grip on runaway squealing pork: These days it might seem like Republicans are as free spending as their Democratic counterparts but some in the GOP still subscribe to the notion of fiscal restraint, says Paul M. Weyrich

GOP borrowing paves the way for Democrat tax hikes: The spending spree that George W. Bush and the Republicans are engaging in will sooner or later result in tax hikes, argues W. James Antle III

Conservatives should hit the ceiling: The federal government's love of debt, argues Jill S. Farrell, has to be ended. Failure to act will have serious ramifications for the future of the American economy

Want lasting tax reform? Shrink government: Think it's possible to ditch the IRS and income tax in favour of a national sales tax? Think again. W. James Antle III reminds you to remember the other side of the equation: spending

Is it time for a flat tax?: There are plenty of people floating reforms to America's tax code, including the introduction of a VAT, but Paul M. Weyrich says Americans should consider a flat tax system instead

Short leash on discretionary grants: Paul M. Weyrich thinks it's a good idea to monitor the spending of organizations like the EPA but he wonders why few are targeting the executive branch to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent properly

Tax and spend vs. borrow and spend: McCain and the GOP's false choices: W. James Antle III argues that today's Republicans seem to believe you can either tax and spend or borrow and spend. No one is interested in cutting taxes and spending

The courage to raise taxes: In Virginia the battle doesn't seem to be over whether to raise taxes, says Peter J. Lynch, but rather how much to raise them. The higher taxation you advocate, the more courage you apparently possess

A tale of two budgets: Colorado and Virginia are two contrasting examples of how states can handle the budget process. Keith D. Cummings says Virginia could learn a lot from its western counterpart

Ways to make April 15 just another day: That most painful of events is just a few days away. W. James Antle III has five simple suggestions that will take the sting out of April 15...though we don't expect the federal government will seriously consider any of them

A tax cut for all Canadians: Walter Robinson argues that a Bush-style tax cut is hardly an impossibility for Canadians. The money is there...all the federal government needs is the will to proceed

Economic conservatives think small, declaring victory and going home: Economic conservatives are hailing the tax cut passed by Congress last Friday but W. James Antle III wonders if they are perhaps being a little too enthusiastic

The pharaohs and kings are gone: but their taxes remain: Walter Robinson says that Canadians have had it with property taxes that don't seem to have any connection to reality

A modest tax cut: Doing away with withholding: If you want to see real tax cuts, says Kevin Gabriel, you should change how people pay their taxes

Deficits and high spending can frustrate tax cuts: W. James Antle III reports that the Bush budget makes some of the same mistakes that previous ones did and could cause the administration some problems

Tax cuts: The only thing government can't afford: New cabinet level departments, entitlements galore and so much more! W. James Antle III wants to know why government can afford everything except for tax cuts?

Bush looks to individuals to grow economy: Sean Hackbarth says George W. Bush's massive tax cuts will allow Americans to pull their nation out of its current economic funk

Is supply-side economics returning?: Regardless of whether supply-side economics are making a comeback, as some believe, W. James Antle III says George W. Bush should continue to promote tax cuts to strengthen the economy

Does raising taxes and increasing spending aid economic recovery?: Politicians who claim that it is necessary to raise taxes and increase spending in order to hasten economic recovery never bother to explain how their macroeconomic plan works, and maybe it's because even they don't fully understand it, argues Rachel Alexander

Many governors not making the grade on taxes and spending: According to the Cato Institute when it comes to responsible spending there doesn't seem to be much difference between most Republican and Democrat governors. W. James Antle III says that means tax hikes to cover up their mistakes

Create another Hoover Commission: If you want to hold the line on federal spending during the upcoming budget wrangling, Bruce Walker says you should look to the past with the Hoover Commission. He even has some suggestions as to who should sit on its sequel

Just taxation: An early American primer: The theory behind "compassionate conservativism" is as weak today as it was in 1769 when a Presbyterian pastor named John Joachim Zubly addressed taxation in a sermon

Keep the tax cut: It's been one year since George W. Bush's tax cut was signed into law but people are still trying to kill it. W. James Antle III believes that's remarkably foolish

On Tax Day thank the rich and support lifting the tax yoke off them: Lowering taxes on the rich is a just step toward letting the productive keep what they earn rather than forcing them to support the nonproductive, argues Edwin A. Locke

Economic voodoo liberals do so well: W. James Antle III reports that traditional Keynesian economics is giving way to another form of voodoo economics on the left

Surplus shrinks, attacks on tax cut grow: W. James Antle III tells Dubya to stay the course: you promised tax cuts and you'd better deliver


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