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Taxes & Trade Archive

Tax Code Rewrite Prospects: Wait 'Til Next Year

Washington always seems to be asking whether this will finally be the year Republicans and Democrats somehow set aside their differences on one of their most fundamental issues and undertake a full rewrite of the sprawling, unwieldy monster known as the tax code.

Proposed Tax Breaks Don't Hold Water With Ryan

Both parties have, in the past, supported using tax incentives to attract businesses to impoverished communities, with programs — variously called “enterprise zones,” “promise zones,” “empowerment zones” or “economic freedom zones” — that include tax breaks for expensing, financing and wage costs.

Inland Waterways Play Large Role in Shipping

Roughly one-sixth of the intercity cargo in the U.S. travels on the nation’s 25,000 miles of commercially active inland and intracoastal waterways. Almost half, or 12,000 miles, are federal waterways known as the Inland Waterway System, which is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Barge operators pay a diesel fuel tax to help fund work on the federal system covering 38 states and includes about 240 locks.

Trade Policies That Work for America's Farmers and Ranchers | Commentary

Agriculture is a cornerstone of our national economy, supporting 16 million jobs both on and off the farm. American farmers and ranchers are the most innovative and productive in the world, providing us with the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world.

Republican Freshmen Call on Congress, President to Lead on Trade | Commentary

At the heart of any free and prosperous nation is an equally free and prosperous economy.

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Loading Time for Online Sales Tax Is Expiring

Anyone hoping for an online sales tax bill out of the 114th Congress might as well be staring at a spinning circle on a computer screen.

Taxpayer Dollars and Disclosure in Politics | Commentary

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama couldn’t have been more transparent. He said, “[A] better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up, with a sense of purpose and possibility, and asking them to join in the great mission of building America.”

Cooking Up Food Aid Reform | Commentary

As a chef, it’s my job to feed people delicious, fresh and nutritious food in a reasonable amount of time. Doing this well is often a race against the clock and it always requires working together.

Lawmakers May Find Consensus on Taxes Overseas

If there’s one part of the tax code that both parties want to overhaul sooner rather than later, it’s taxation of foreign profits.

OECD Seeks Change In Global Taxation

Thanks in part to past concerns that globalization could lead to double taxation, corporations have numerous techniques at their disposal to reduce their tax bills, including the placement of subsidiaries and spinoff holding companies in low-tax jurisdictions.

Oil Producers Plan for Open Crude Exports by 2020

Industry representatives and key lawmakers plan market studies, polls of Americans’ views and incremental moves on exports to sway public opinion in favor of allowing crude oil exports.

Valentine's Is Not so Sweet for Florists | Commentary

Florists count on Valentine’s Day revenues much like other retailers count on Christmas — a good holiday can make or break a shop’s financial year. To capitalize on an expected increase in business every February, many florists will rent vans or moving trucks to supplement their fleets, move extra stock and make deliveries. Unfortunately, when they do so, florists are forced to pay discriminatory taxes on the trucks they rent.

Trade Policy Is Low-Hanging Fruit for a Bipartisan Win | Commentary

The president’s State of the Union address laid out the White House’s priorities for the coming year and gave policy wonks an indication of what is likely to happen, or not, in the year ahead. While several items in President Barack Obama’s remarks, including tax and energy policy initiatives, are unlikely to move ahead in the Republican-controlled Congress, there was one bright spot which may elicit bipartisan cooperation: trade policy.

U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom: Muslims and Hare Krishnas are Out in Majority-Muslim Azerbaijan | Commentary

As the national debt continues to spiral, now at more than $17 trillion, Congress should be commended for investigating wastes of tax payer money such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America — both media organizations shown to have clearly gone off the rails, either working against U.S. allies or directly supporting our nation’s enemies. Perhaps the next target for Congress’ cross hairs should be the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Is the IRS Ready for Some Football? | Commentary

The IRS has a tough job ahead. The agency is in the process of writing a rule that could clarify the definition of political activity for nonprofits, making it harder to game the system and push millions of undisclosed dollars into our elections while also making it easier for nonprofits to navigate and easier for the IRS to enforce the rules.

Corporations Won't Wait for Tax Reform, So Why Should Congress? | Commentary

President Barack Obama last week called on Congress to close tax loopholes that allow some corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes at the expense of hardworking Americans.

Federal Debt: The Value Obama Didn't Address | Commentary

Under Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers indicated the president must brief Congress with information about and recommendations for the union. To me, this tradition represents an act of transparency, yet the president was not transparent about the federal government’s true debt in his State of the Union Address.

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Obama's Capital Gains Tax Plan Would Hit Hill's Richest, Spare 2016 Aspirants

President Barack Obama pitched his proposal to increase the top capital gains and dividend tax rate to 28 percent from 23.8 percent as part of a simpler, fairer tax code that would favor the middle class. The proposed tax increase is designed to fall on the wealthy.

True Tax Reform Must Be a Full Overhaul of the Code | Commentary

The 114th Congress is just days old, and the acrimony between the parties seems to be as intense as ever, with one major exception — tax reform. This is one of just a few policy areas capable of attracting support from both parties on both ends of Pennsylvania. Expect to hear about it in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and expect the issue to be a hot topic at each party’s upcoming congressional retreat. After this era of globalized economies, policymakers have precious few tools for growing the economy and boosting wages for American workers. But tax reform is one of them.

White House's New Bonds Seek to Attract Private Investment

The White House’s effort to promote public-private partnerships for infrastructure is the latest effort to tap the private sector for funds in an era of tight fiscal constraints. The outcome, if successful, could raise billions of dollars for investment in transportation projects with relatively little fiscal effect on the government.

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