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Taxes & Trade Archive

Trade with Asia Will Help Revitalize the Beleaguered U.S. Economy | Commentary

While the United States economy continues to falter, some in Congress are standing in the way of a key trade vote that has the potential to benefit our stagnant economy.

Democrats Need to Support Free Trade | Commentary

Almost ten years ago under President George W. Bush, Democrats in the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly against the last controversial free trade agreement to come before Congress, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Now leading Democrats in Congress are threatening to deny or delay, giving President Obama the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) essential to complete two of the largest free trade agreements in American history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Partnership (TTIP). These agreements have enormous potential for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and an almost one percent increase in U.S. GDP without adding to the deficit.

Murray Says Senate Won't Move 2015 Budget Resolution

Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray confirmed Friday that the Senate will not move a fiscal 2015 budget resolution even as House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan began meetings with fellow Republicans aimed at crafting a House tax and spending blueprint for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The Economic Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports | Commentary

Since the gasoline shortages of the 1970s, Congress has, with only a few exceptions, barred all U.S. crude oil exports. But an energy policy that may have made sense 40 years ago no longer does. Innovative drilling techniques have spawned an oil and natural gas boom in the United States. Since oil surpluses can create as many problems as oil shortages, it’s time to eliminate those export restrictions.

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For Budgeting, Tough Accounting for 'Gimmicks'

Assessments of a proposal by Senate Democrats this month to offset the cost of extending emergency unemployment benefits by temporarily reducing companies’ pension payments won rare agreement from the right and the left.

CBO Advises Retreat on War Spending

The Congressional Budget Office’s dismissal of a legislated cap on war spending marks a rare case in which the nonpartisan research arm of Congress effectively tossed out an offset as essentially mistaken accounting.

Close Corporate Tax Loopholes to Fix Holes in Our Infrastructure | Commentary

Business owners know the importance of investing to keep their companies competitive. When essential equipment breaks, they fix it if they can or replace it if they can’t. They don’t respond by cutting their budget for maintenance and investment. Yet that’s what Congress has done.

FTC's Data Security Grab Is Adjudication without Authority | Commentary

What happens when a government agency adjudicates without authority, assuming Congress will simply provide forgiveness, rather than ask for permission? That is the question that is being asked this week after the Federal Trade Commission petitioned Congress for powers it does not currently have regarding data breaches and cybersecurity while already exercising the very powers they seek.

After 20 Years of Trade Relations, Vietnam and U.S. Look Forward | Commentary

Twenty years ago this month, trade relations between Vietnam and the United States were restored when President Bill Clinton lifted a punishing trade embargo. This was an important step toward normalizing relations between our countries, putting our interactions on a course that continues to deepen, expand and benefit both nations.

Oil Export Debate Renews Fight Over Protections for U.S. Shipping

The debate about lifting 1970s restrictions on crude oil exports has renewed another old fight over a 1920 maritime law known as the Jones Act.

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Keystone Pipeline Approval Could Shift Dynamics of Crude Export Debate

The debate over lifting the nation’s restrictions on exporting crude oil centers on refinery capacity and the types of available crude, complexities that could shift if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved.

The Path to Jobs and Prosperity: Tax Reform | Commentary

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address this week, the focus will no doubt be about generating more economic opportunity for the American worker. Consequently, both the White House and congressional Republicans have begun to approach the issue from a variety of angles and from across the political spectrum.

The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth | Commentary

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., recently delivered a striking rebuke of America’s energy industry (Commentary: We Ain’t Broke, Nov. 22, 2013). But his criticism provided a distorted picture of this vitally important sector of the economy.

The Less-Than-Charitable Cost of Tax Reform | Commentary

If your household is like mine, you made your yearly charitable donations to a number of worthy causes last month, trying to get under the wire for the year’s tax deduction. But if the administration proposal to limit deductions passes Congress as a part of broader tax reforms, your annual contributions might actually cost more in the future. As this important conversation progresses, it is crucially important that Congress not alter the charitable contribution deduction.

It's Time to Reform Taxes for U.S. Businesses | Commentary

The conventional wisdom is that tax reform is dead.

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For Poverty, Tax Code Debate Offers Little Consensus

With the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of a “war on poverty” triggering new congressional debates on fiscal issues, prominent members of both parties are trumpeting plans to limit poverty. For Democrats, the Wednesday anniversary is entwined with questions about income inequality, a theme the White House says it will emphasize this year.

Don't Allow Small Business to be Caught in Tax Reform Crossfire | Commentary

After years in the drawing room, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., recently released a set of drafts addressing our nation’s outdated tax code. If the early drafts’ treatment of the energy sector is any indication, small businesses inside and outside of the oil industry have reason to be on high alert.

Unequal Tax Benefits Punish Public Transit Riders | Commentary

With cuts to tax benefits for transit commuters set to be triggered at the end of the year, it is essential that Congress act to ensure that transit riders benefit from the same tax incentives available to commuters who drive to work.

Thanks to Congressional Inaction, Seeking Clarity From the IRS Is No Joke | Commentary

A few months ago, the Internal Revenue Service was accused of improperly targeting conservative nonprofit organizations for special scrutiny. Whoops. Now the IRS and the Treasury Department have proposed new rules to curb the political influence of one type of nonprofit organization.

Listen to the Factual Record on the ITC, Not the Broken One | Commentary

The International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency that I was fortunate to serve for 12 years, has been much maligned as of late, even derogatorily referred to by some as the “International Trolling Commission” as the patent debates have heated up. These hyperbolic claims by the critics have little relation to the reality of the ITC’s important work as a trade enforcement agency and I feel a sense of duty to my former agency to help sort fact from fiction.

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