Is there such a thing as snow locusts? Today is the last day Iowa will be plagued by presidential candidates and their relentless ads and emails. Tonight, blizzard and winter storm warnings across the state.
Lots of things go into choosing a candidate. We kid ourselves if we think it is all rational. Many voters put as much thought into their political preferences as they do into choosing a favorite sports team. Most voters are much more informed about their sports teams than their votes.
But Tax Update readers are different! You especially want to know about candidate tax policies. Fortunately, the Tax Foundation has an excellent Comparison of Presidential Tax Plans and Their Economic Effects. I like this chart they provide:
You’ll notice that only one plan is projected to have positive economic effects while reducing the budget deficit over 10 years. I like that one.
Other Caucus-related links:
Tax Policy Center Major candidate tax proposals, a center-left analysis.
Russ Fox, The Liberty to Commit Tax Fraud:
This story does show two things. First, requiring every tax professional to obtain a license won’t stop tax fraud. The alleged fraud here was started by an individual with a PTIN, someone who assuredly could obtain the former RTRP designation or the current AFSP “seal of approval.” Second, the Department of Justice news release notes, “In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers.” This is absolutely true, and the DOJ should be commended for their work. It also shows that licensing every tax professional isn’t needed to get rid of unscrupulous ones.
William Perez, When Does an 83(b) Election Make Sense?
Paul Neiffer, Pre-1977 Purchases May Get 100% Step-up or Not! Involving old joint interests in property.
Jack Townsend, 60 Minutes Exposé on Money Laundering Into the U.S.
Jason Dinesen, Not All Donations to Charity Are Deductible. Time, for example.
Kristine Tidgren, Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Gets More Complicated (AgDocket)
Matt Gardner, International Speedway Reaps Benefits of Revived “NASCAR Tax Break” (Tax Justice Blog). In which the Tax Justice people sctually make a lot of sense: “In the context of our growing budget deficits, the annual cost of the NASCAR giveaway is a drop in the bucket at less than $20 million, making it a small part of the $680 billion extenders package. But because its benefits are narrowly focused on a few privileged companies, the damaging effects of this tax break go way beyond its fiscal cost.”
Donald Marron, What Should We Do with the Money from Taxing “Bads”? (TaxVox)
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 996, Day 997, Day 998. Day 997 links to IRS’s New Ethics Chief Once Ordered Records Be Illegally Destroyed. These are the people who think they need to regulate tax preparers to keep us in line.
Scott Drenkard, David Bowie: Tax Planning Hero (Tax Policy Blog). “Taxes really matter, especially for an artist like Bowie who had a lot of options for where to reside and earn income.”
Robert D. Flach, THE TWELVE DAYS OF TAX SEASON
Finally, in honor of the Iowa Caucuses I quote the great Arnold Kling, who captures my feelings about these proceedings perfectly:
To me, political campaigns are not sacred events, to be eagerly anticipated and avidly followed. They are brutal assaults on reason. I look forward to election season about as much as a gulf coast resident looks forward to hurricane season.
Only the beginning of a wise and profound post. Read it all.