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Accounting News Roundup: Obama, Romney, and Taxes | 01.25.12

Obama Backs Tax Reforms in State of the Union [AT]
President Barack Obama called for millionaires to shoulder a greater share of taxes, but also agreed to lower corporate taxes for companies that hire in the U.S., during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Obama urged Congress to finish the job of extending the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year to prevent an average tax hike of $40 per paycheck for the middle class. A congressional joint committee began meeting on Tuesday to do just that. But he also called for broader tax reforms, including an end to the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year. 

Obama Says High-Earners Should Pay at Least 30% of Income as Tax [Bloomberg]
President Barack Obama called on Congress to require the highest U.S. earners to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes, building on his election-year push for what he terms economic fairness. The president’s proposal in his State of the Union address tonight would create a minimum tax on income exceeding $1 million. That floor would be established in part by eliminating high earners’ deductions for mortgage interest, health care, retirement and child care. Given congressional gridlock, there is little chance of its enactment this year.

Romney's Fair Share [WSJ]
Mr. Romney should put his own returns in the trophy case as evidence of the need for a major tax reform: Lower, flatter rates and a broader base will generate more jobs and economic growth. It might be reasonable, for instance, to treat carried interest as regular income in the context of lowering the corporate rate to something that is remotely competitive world-wide. The problem isn't that Mr. Romney is paying too little, but that Mr. Obama wants everyone but his voters and green business cronies to pay too much.

Romney and the Burden of Double Taxation [WSJ]
Mr. Romney and other presidential candidates should use the opportunity of releasing their tax returns to make an important policy statement. They should include not only their individual returns, but information about the taxes their corporations pay. They should also present the amount that will be paid through the death tax, the 35% rate of which, according to the American Family Business Institute, is fifth-highest among advanced economies. Then they should calculate what their taxes will be should the dividend, capital-gains and death-tax rates increase as scheduled at the end of 2012. In this way the candidates can help explode the myth of the U.S. as a low-tax nation.
Romney Rethinks Key Income-Tax Break [WSJ]
If elected president, Mitt Romney might consider ending a tax break that helped the former Massachusetts governor accumulate his fortune, an aide suggested Tuesday. The comments came as the Romney campaign made available more than 500 pages of tax-return data for 2010 and 2011 amid signs the issue was hurting him with some voters. Later in the day, in a signal of how the tax issue is roiling the GOP campaign, the Romney camp tried to step back from the aide's remarks, underscoring that the former Massachusetts governor didn't want to raise anyone's taxes.
$5 here, $37 there: Americans' indulgences add up [Reuters]
Just keeping that obesity trend going.


Posted in ANR