Senators

AICPA to Senators: Don’t Even Think About Touching Cash-Basis Accounting

Maybe you've noticed, but there are a few things that grind the AICPA's gears: 1. Questioning the integrity of CPAs in a YouTube video, on the radio or anywhere for that matter. 2. Management accounting credentials that are not the CGMA. 3. Nationally syndicated columnists suggesting that anyone is more qualified than a CPA to […]

Chuck Schumer Won’t Have Any of This Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Talk

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) noted that many of the reform plans that are under discussion in Washington would cut tax rates for everyone by eliminating or reducing deductions — the same model that was used during the last major rewrite of the tax code in 1986.  “But in the upcoming talks on the fiscal cliff, […]

Senator Tom Coburn Explains What Tax Expenditures Are and What They Are Not

Earlier, we shared with you the thoughts of Americans for Tax Reform on Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s rock-inspired “Back in Black” deficit reduction plan. Despite a silver lining that will allow whiny rich liberals to pay more taxes if they so choose, ATR wasn’t impressed, calling it a “Trillion Dollar Tax Hike.”

This is partly because Senator Coburn proposes the elimination of many tax expenditures. Of course, if you’re confused about what exactly a “tax expenditure” is, Senator Coburn took the time to explain it to everyone:

Tax expenditures are not tax cuts,” he said. “Tax expenditures are socialism and corporate welfare. Tax expenditures are increases on anyone who does not receive the benefit or can’t hire a lobbyist or special interest group to manipulate the code to their favor.”

It doesn’t appear that ATR has weighed in on this yet (and they are fond of quoting Coburn) but we don’t mind waiting.

House pursues balanced-budget bill; need for backup plan acknowledged [WaPo via TaxVox]
Earlier:
Did the Georgia Tea Party Call Grover Norquist a Socialist?

Don’t Try Using Your Fancy Tax Code Words on Orrin Hatch

President Obama and his liberal allies are calling for a ‘balanced approach’ and a revenue piece to deficit reduction. We hear this from the press all the time: ‘New revenues need to be a part of any deal to reduce the deficit.’ These are simply code words for a tax hike.

It is clear that the professional left is insisting that President Obama include tax increases in any negotiated agreement to raise the debt ceiling. [ATR]

Mitch McConnell Suggests That Anyone in Favor of Tax Hikes Is Committing Political Suicide

Hours before a meeting with President Obama at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that any debt-ceiling deals that included tax hikes would be “politically impossible” in the current Congress because most Republicans and many Democrats oppose them.

“Those who are calling for tax hikes as a part of these debt discussions either have amnesia about the fate of similar votes just six months ago — when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress as well as the White House — or they’re acting in bad faith, since we all know that including massive, job-killing tax hikes would be a poison pill,” said McConnell on Monday from the Senate floor. [The Hill]

Tom Coburn: The Gang of Six’s Abysmal Failure Is Not The Gang of Six’s Fault

I understand the disappointment, and real danger, associated with our impasse. The question, though, is not how we tried and failed but why the Senate has not even tried. Commissions and “gangs” form when members lose confidence in the institutions in which they serve. Working groups have their place — but they should support, not replace, the open work of the full Senate. The truth is that we already have a permanent standing debt commission. It’s called Congress. [WaPo]

Chuck Grassley Has Had It with the Hating on Wealthy People

Which makes a lot of sense since the Iowa Senator has a net worth reported to be anywhere from $2.3 million to $6 million.

The Hill reports that Senator Grassley made his annoyance known in a Senate Finance Committee meeting today, “I get sick and tired of the demagoguery that goes on in Washington about taxing higher-income people,” he said. “How high do taxes have to go to satisfy the appetite of people in this Congress to spend money?” Good question, Senator. Are you changing your tune on ethanol tax credits? [The Hill]

Senators Introduce Bill That Would Require IRS to Produce 310 Million (or so) Receipts

Plenty of horrendous ideas get introduced inside the hallowed walls of Congress but the latest submission from Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Scott Brown (R-MA) ranks right up there:

Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Finance subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced the measure Wednesday that would require the IRS to provide each taxpayer with an itemized list, similar to a grocery store receipt, that shows where their payroll and income taxes are spent. “Taxpayers have a right to know where their money goes, how much Uncle Sam is borrowing on their behalf, and what they get in return for it,” Nelson said.

Yeah, no problem. New responsibilities under healthcare reform, chasing offshore accounts, not to mention your everyday tax compliance and enforcement. This will be a piece of cake since the the Service’s budget is getting slashed.

Senators introduce bill that would provide detailed tax receipt [The Hill]

Bill That Would Fire Federal Employees for Unpaid Taxes Wouldn’t Apply to Lots of Federal Employees That Have Unpaid Taxes

Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have introduced a bill that would take care of all the federal employees who have ‘seriously delinquent tax debts.’ Quite simply, they would be fired:

In 2009, the IRS found that nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees were delinquent on their federal income taxes, owing over $1 billion in unpaid taxes. When retirees and military are included in the total, more than 282,000 federal employees owed $3.3 billion in taxes.

The Senate bill would require all federal employees to be current on their federal income taxes or be fired from their jobs. According to Coburn’s office, “this is a commonsense bill that most Americans would believe is reasonable, necessary, and likely surprised that it is not already the standard throughout the federal government.”

So if the 182,000 people that owe approximately $2.3 billion aren’t eligible to be fired, how exactly is this bill ‘commonsense’? Oh, right! By threatening the 100,000 people who owe $1 billion with the loss of their jobs. Got it!

Senate Bill Would Fire Federal Employees with Unpaid Taxes [AT]

Not-So-Subtle Political Ad of the Day: Louisiana Taxpayer Dollars Paid for David Ritter’s Hookers

He was calling them during important votes!


With less than a week to go until the election and Vitter leading by about 16 points, Charlie Melancon figures this particular line of attack can’t hurt anything.

Melancon Ad: Vitter Used Taxpayers’ Money To Pay For Prostitutes [TPM]

John Kerry Saves $500k in Taxes By Dropping Anchor in Rhode Island

Don’t any of you get the idea that John Kerry is docking his new $7 million yacht in Rhode Island to navigate around Massachusetts’ sales tax and the annual excise tax. That would be, in a word, ludicrous.


“Kerry spokesman David Wade said Friday the boat is being kept at Newport Shipyard not to evade taxes, but ‘for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes.’ ”

And Rhode Island is the Ocean State, so it makes perfect sense. “Isabel” is a 76′ beaut that has “two cabins, a pilot house fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage.” A pretty swell ride.

It’s difficult to say why the Mass. Senator wouldn’t park the vessel near home base but we’d be willing to hear some theories.

Mass. Sen. Kerry docks yacht in RI, saving $500K [AP]
Sen. John Kerry skips town on sails tax [Boston Herald via TaxProf]