Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy [NYT]
But for all of the anticipation, and with less than five weeks remaining until Election Day, the 90-minute debate unfolded much like a seminar by a business consultant and a college professor. Both men argued that their policies would improve the lives of the middle class, but their discussion often dipped deep into the weeds, and they talked over each other without connecting their ideas to voters. If Mr. Romney’s goal was to show that he could project equal stature to the president, he succeeded, perhaps offering his campaign the lift that Republicans have been seeking. Mr. Obama often stopped short of challenging his rival’s specific policies and chose not to invoke some of the same arguments that his campaign has been making against Mr. Romney for months. At one point, Mr. Romney offered an admonishment, saying, “Mr. President, you’re entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts, all right?” He forcefully engaged Mr. Obama throughout the night, while the president often looked down at his lectern and took notes.
One of the most confusing—but also important—exchanges in Wednesday night's debate was a lengthy clash between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney over their competing tax proposals. Both candidates hurled giant numbers at each other—$5 trillion here, $4 trillion there—but the crux of their divide was much simpler: What role should taxes play in an economic recovery, and should tax increases be used as part of a deal to reduce the nation's budget deficit? Mr. Romney's tax story goes like this: cut income-tax rates 20%, limit or eliminate deductions, and don't include new taxes in a package to reduce the deficit. Mr. Obama's version goes like this: raise taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit, and use the tax code to give incentives to certain industries like manufacturing.
Romney Debates Obama, Says He May Need a New Accountant [AT]
After Obama said he wanted to end corporate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, Romney responded, “You said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant.”
Romney Promises To Cut Taxpayer Funding For PBS (But Says He Still Loves Big Bird) [Forbes]
Bird Big has a sad.
Tax Whoppers in Last Night's Presidential Debate [TaxProf]
There were a few.
Overseas Cash and the Tax Games Multinationals Play [DealBook]
The tax code provides multinationals based in the United States with many incentives to shift income to foreign low-tax jurisdictions. In theory, American corporations are taxed at 35 percent on their worldwide income. But income earned by an active controlled foreign corporation is not usually taxed until the cash is repatriated to the parent company in the United States as a dividend. From a policy perspective, the problem is not so much that tax on foreign income is deferred, but rather that United States income is being masqueraded as foreign income.