Category Reform

Chevron, Delegation, and Clear Statement Rules

Article I, Section One vests “[a]ll legislative Powers” in Congress.[1] Among other things, this means that “[e]xcept in a few areas constitutionally committed to the Executive Branch, the basic policy decisions governing society are to be made by the Legislature.”[2] Congress cannot delegate the power to make the law to another entity (or, for that […]

Taxation Tuesday: Repatriation Games

Or, “Incorporate in Anguilla!”  The United States doesn’t have a territorial tax system, meaning federal tax is collected on American income throughout the world, not just income earned within its borders. There is one notable exception to that: corporate income earned overseas, as long as that money stays overseas. Here’s how it works mechanically: A […]

Taxation Tuesday: What’s the Alternative?

The Republican tax bill is going to conference, and updates are happening so quickly they are time stamped to the minute. So, let’s talk about the individual Alternative Minimum Tax, a decades-old smoking gun demonstrating the failures of the federal income tax. (There is also a corporate AMT, which is not the subject of this […]

Taxation Tuesday: A brief manifesto on deductions

The federal income tax was established to help pay for the Civil War, but it was never solely a mechanism for raising revenue. Deductions have always been there, and deductions are policy. The state and local income tax deduction, for example, was consubstantial with the first federal income tax. According to the Tax Foundation, it’s […]

Taxation Tuesday: What Is Even Happening Here

The current tax reform plan is complicated and earth-shaking in a downstream kind of way. It’s doing a lot from a monetary perspective, but it’s not fundamentally changing the way federal taxes work. It’s a familiar reform story: the entrenched status quo turns out to be made of concrete, so the reformers have to dig […]

Taxation Tuesday: The State and Local Tax Deduction, or, Everyone’s a Little Bit Wrong

The federal income tax finds you everywhere. State taxes don’t: California takes up to 13.3% of your income, while Nevada takes nothing. Every state taxes property in some way, but at different levels. But state taxes don’t immediately overburden high-tax state residents as badly as this sounds, because of the State and Local Tax Deduction, […]

Taxation Tuesday: No One Depreciates Me

Two conflicting ideas underpin a lot of the conversation surrounding businesses and the federal income tax. First, that our current tax code is too complicated, and second, that we should use the tax code to manage economic policy. Cost recovery of capital investment is a good case study. It’s really complicated and it has huge […]

Taxation Tuesday: Don’t Try to Pass a Wealth Tax

Good morning; let’s talk about tax policy!  One of the ways Senator Bernie Sanders has offered to finance his suggested health care plan is a wealth tax. A wealth tax does what it says on the box: taxes assets, as opposed to our current tax structure, which taxes income. This is far from the first […]

What Unites Us?

Reflections on division in the United States.

The Proposed “Ad Tax” Would be Unconstitutional Under Central Hudson

[This post originally appeared here on The Hill’s Opinion Blog on August 4, 2017.] Fox News and CNN have something in common: they both rely on advertising to promote their journalistic messages and to help generate revenue needed to carry out their missions. Historically, the expenses associated with such advertising have not been subject to […]