Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) just took over as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the AICPA couldn’t resist sending him a letter telling him how to do his job. In his letter, Troy Lewis, the chairman of the AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee, was sure to tell Ryan that “the AICPA supports comprehensive […]
Newt Gingrich nemesis Mitt Romney told Larry Kudlow last week that "phase two" of his tax plan was in the works but Godfather of Anti-Tax Policy Grover Norquist thinks he should save his energy. “The smart move is to say, ‘I’m with Paul Ryan,’” Norquist says. “Then it’s not ‘his plan,’ and [Romney] can simply […]
Recently, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was chattin’ up some citizens at a townhall meeting where he told a little anecdote about asking a GE “tax officer” how long the company’s tax return was for this year. He was told (and the Weekly Standard confirmed) that it was in the nabe of 57,000 pages. Granted, GE filed their return electronically, so there’s no way we can officially know what the count is but the combination of the world’s best tax law firm and a grip of savvy loaned KPMG employees managed to keep it under 60k. Nice job, everyone. [TWS via TaxProf]
By now, you’re probably heard about President Obama’s new plan for reducing our nation’s deficit. It involves raising taxes on the wealthiest of citizens including this new thing called the “Buffett Rule” which would force anyone making $1 million a year to pay a tax rate that is at least as high as the one paid by middle-income taxpayers. Predictably, Republicans have not warmed to the idea and are reacting on cue. Congressman Paul Ryan (WI) got feisty, saying the Buffett Rule was an example of “class warfare.”
The President, not always thrilled with criticism, sees it as slightly more complicated than that:
“This is not class warfare — it’s math,” Mr. Obama said from the White House Rose Garden, addressing GOP critiques of his plan head on.
Yeah Paul Ryan, Mr. Chairman of the House Budget Committee. If you’re not willing to get all nerdy about it, the President doesn’t want to hear it. Come back when you’ve got a blackboard filled with equations.
The Hill reports that Congressman Paul Ryan isn’t interested in getting the economy all hopped up like an adolescent trying to cram for a mid-term,“I’m not a Keynesian, so I don’t think sugar-high economics works.”
And that this discussion is old hat, “We’ve sort of proven this already, a number of times. Temporary tax rebates don’t work to create economic growth. Permanent tax changes do.” [The Hill]
[A McClatchy-Marist] poll reported that roughly two out of three registered voters — 64 percent — would be in favor of increasing taxes on annual income over $250,000. President Obama reiterated in his deficit-reduction speech last week that he favored allowing taxes to rise on families in that income level. Independents favored that plan of action at roughly the same percentage as the country at large, with more than eight in 10 Democrats also behind the idea. A majority of Republicans, 54 percent, opposed it. The poll was conducted both before and after Obama’s Wednesday speech, with support for higher taxes on wealthier Americans picking up afterward. Meanwhile, fully four in five registered voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP’s fiscal 2012 budget, largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), makes fundamental long-term changes to both health entitlement programs, converting Medicaid into a block grant and turning Medicare into a type of voucher system. [The Hill, Earlier]
Mr. Ryan sat in a front-row seat in the George Washington University auditorium Wednesday while Mr. Obama unveiled his plan to constrain growing levels of federal debt. Mr. Ryan grew visibly annoyed during the speech, shaking his head in disgust. He feverishly took notes, and when Mr. Obama finished he stood up and bolted from the auditorium. The only person apparently running faster towards the exit tugged on Mr. Ryan’s sleeve near the doorway and reached out to shake his hand. “Hi, Mr. Chairman, Gene Sperling,” Mr. Obama’s director of the National Economic Council said to Mr. Ryan in what appeared to be a conciliatory gesture. “Oh, I thought you were a reporter,” Mr. Ryan said, explaining why he didn’t immediately turn around when his name was called. [WSJ]
Charles Krauthammer […] writes that the “most scurrilous” criticism of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan is that it would cut taxes for the rich. This would, he says, be akin to making the same claim against the Ronald Reagan-Bill Bradley 1986 tax reform. Krauthammer goes on to assert that Ryan’s plan is “classic tax reform” that … broadens the base by eliminating loopholes. The facts are otherwise. The Ryan plan, at least what we know of it, would inarguably cut taxes for the rich. It in no way resembles the 1980s tax reforms of either President Reagan or Senator Bill Bradley and Representative Dick Gephardt. And it most assuredly fails to eliminate loopholes. [TaxVox, WaPo]
It is fine for Republicans to refuse to raise taxes as long as they admit we must have significant cuts in entitlements. Ryan is leading the way for the Republicans. For this he deserves kudos. It is fine for Democrats to refuse cutting entitlements as long as they admit we must have significant tax increases. Nobody is leading the Democrats. And politics requires that the President stall because he cannot even hint at a tax increase before the 2012 election. [Martin Sullivan]