March 08, 2015
As we enter another income tax return season, CapitolWatch is challenging all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to prepare their own income tax returns, without the assistance of lawyers, CPA’s and other tax professionals.
February 17, 2015
President Barack Obama has released his FY 2016 budget and it should come as no surprise that he intends to continue his call for increased spending across a broad range of areas. This includes an overall increase of 7 percent, or $74 billion in additional taxpayer dollars above the cap signed into law by him with the 2011 Budget Control Act. “This includes $530 billion on the non-defense discretionary side, an increase of $37 billion over the spending caps, and $561 billion in defense spending, an increase of $38 billion over the spending caps,” a White House official told the media.
July 03, 2013
CapitolWatch is calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to act on sweeping reforms to our nation’s tax code. Taxpayers spend over 6 billion hours and over $160 billion every year on efforts to comply with the tax code. Simplifying and streamlining income tax rates, while lowering corporate taxes is balanced mix which would spur economic growth and free taxpayers from the burden of a draconian tax code.
June 27, 2013
Recently, President Obama released his FY14 Budget request to Congress. If he gets his way, your taxes will be going up. The Tax Policy Center has put together an estimate of tax rates under President Obama's budget in the next ten years. Taxes are going up on the rich of course, but they’re also going up on everybody else, too. This is despite his campaign promise to not raise taxes on families making less than $200,000.
April 17, 2013
Over the past year we have heard over and over again from President Obama that we need to pay more in taxes. In fact this year, we’ll pay more than ever before in the history of our country. Both the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the White House estimate the government will collect around $2.7 trillion in 2013, up from around $2.45 trillion last year. That number is set to go up in the coming years. The CBO projects the revenue collected by the government will double between 2012 and 2023.
January 17, 2013
Since Election Day this past November, the talk in Washington and around the country has focused on the “Fiscal Cliff”. The Fiscal Cliff had become the popular term used to describe the deadline the U.S. government faced come January 1st2013. A deal must be reached by then to avert a broad mix of tax hikes and spending cuts, including the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The BCA was a deal struck between the House and the President to raise the debt limit, create a supercommittee to enact budgetary reforms, and if it failed to act, cuts called “sequestration” to the tune of a trillion dollars from military and Medicare would go into effect.
January 03, 2013
As we approach 2013 and head towards 2014, there are more looming tax increases for Americans – from Obamacare. In order to pay for the President’s trillion dollar new entitlement program the government will have to raise revenue from a number of places. This includes taxes on wages, new fees, and taxes on investment income.
October 30, 2012
According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Social Security did not take in as much money as it spent last year. In addition, that trend will continue as the CBO estimated that over the next 10 years, the government will not take in enough to cover furture payments. Social Security is likely to overspend by as much as 10 percent as more and more retirees enter the program. In Fiscal Year 2012, which ended on September 30th, Social Security spending totaled $773 billion.
September 28, 2012
One of the most hotly debated portions of Obamacare requires Americans to either purchase government-approved insurance or pay a penalty. This is called the “individual mandate.” The mandate gradually starts in 2014, with the penalties fully go into effect in 2016. The individual mandate in Obamacare will cost 6 million taxpayers a total of $7 billion in 2016, according to updated estimates released this month by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
September 04, 2012
Early in President Bush’s first term in 2001 and 2003, Congress passedtax cuts he proposed. The Bush tax cuts had sunset provisions that made them expire at the end of 2010. Whether to renew the Bush-era rates has become a constant flashpoint for Republicans and President Barack Obama. Obama supports extending the rates for those who make $250,000 and less, while Republicans support extending the rates for all Americans. Most recently, all of the rates were extended as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. However, this two-year extension that was part of a larger tax and economic package is set to expire on December 31st of this year.
August 06, 2012
This past Tuesday, the House of Representatives took action on holding accountable Federal Government workers who owe taxes to their employer –the Government and you, the taxpayer. By a bipartisan vote of 263-114 the House sent the bill to the Senate for action. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is the bill’s sponsor and has long sought to hold accountable those who areemployed by taxpayers, but shirk their tax obligations.
July 16, 2012
This past month we heard from the Supreme Court which found that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. While that tax is the largest, expected to bring in billions of new dollars in revenue courtesy of hard working taxpayers, others exist as well. The latest one which has been uncovered? A tax when you sell your home.
June 19, 2012
This past week Congress took the rare action on coming together on an issue which has usually sparked heated debate – the repeal of taxes. Furthermore, the tax being repealed was one passed as a part of the President’s healthcare bill. The House voted 270-146 to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. This would have applied to everything from equipment used to deliver children, devices used by emergency responders, and even operating room equipment. Essentially anything manufactured to help ensure the health and well-being of patients.
April 04, 2012
Its no “April Fools,” on April 1st the United States officially became home to the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This comes as Japan officially cut its corporate tax rate to 36.8 percent, leaving ours in the lead at 39.2 percent. Countries with more restrictive economies like Russia and China have rates of 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively; essentially leaving our businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
March 02, 2012
Our Federal Government is $15.3trillion in debt and racking up deficits in excess of $1 trillion a year. Youwould think that every American pays their fair share towards the FederalBudget right? Wrong. According to two studies, nearly half of Americans aren’tpaying taxes. In a study by the Tax Policy Center, they estimate that 46percent of American households either will pay no federal income tax in 2011 orwill receive more from the IRS than they pay in. Contrast that with 1984, when 85 percent of Americans paidfederal income tax.
September 22, 2011
Today, CapitolWatch called on Members of Congress to reject President Obama’s tax andspend solution to lowering the employment rate. Following the President’sfailed trillion dollar stimulus effort his latest job creation gimmick is asecond half billion dollar stimulus, this time complete with tax increases.
August 21, 2011
Today, CapitolWatch announced its support of H.R. 150, the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the inclusion of any Social Security or Tier I Railroad Retirement benefits in gross income. This legislation would halt the practice of double taxation of senior’s earned benefits and would give a jolt to our nation’s lagging economy.
December 14, 2010
Yesterday, in a 42-page opinion, a Virginia Judge struck down the Individual Mandate portion of President Obama’s health care reform bill. This mandate requires that every U.S. citizen purchase “acceptable” health care insurance by 2014, or pay a fine to the government. While Obama and his fellow Democrats (not a single Republican voted for the final version) contend that they have the power to do this under the Constitution’s interstate Commerce Clause, the Judge ruled otherwise.
December 03, 2010
The worst thing about a tax is when you don’t even realize you’re paying one. There are some members of the U.S. Government, including the current Speaker of the House who would like to start charging a hidden tax called a Value Added Tax, or a VAT. Several European countries already have it as well as others around the world. Some operate their entire tax system off of it, while others use it in addition to income taxes. The latter of those two is exactly what Nancy Pelosi would like to have here in America.
October 08, 2010
When Congress left town to campaign for their jobs, they seemed to have left behind their sense of responsibility. At the end of this year, the 2001 tax cuts put in place by President Bush will expire. That means families across the board will be hit with increased taxes at a time of increased uncertainty about their futures. Instead of worrying about families making the hard decisions, Congress punted and made a gutless decision.
September 15, 2010
This week, the House and Senate return to the Capitol to complete unfinished business, before returning to the campaign trail. On top of the agenda is debate surrounding the extension of the Bush era Tax Cuts. These tax cuts, enacted in 2001, are set to expire at the end of 2010. Currently, there are two prevailing approaches in each chamber as to how they will tackle renewing all or some of the tax cuts.
December 14, 2009
As the administration finds itself caught between Republicans and factions of their own party over the future of the war in Afghanistan, a wide range of issues have managed to shoot off this central lightning rod to form their own perfect storms in our nation's capital.
August 23, 2009
Nearing the end of the August recess, Congress has been fighting both for and against the President's healthcare reform plan. While the plan has good intentions, it is impractical for many reasons.
June 15, 2009
Much has been made lately of a plan that may or may not be in the works (depends whom you ask) to pay for President Obama's ambitious universal health care plan. Most of the talk on the issue stems from the first question asked about it: How is it going to be paid for?
October 30, 2008
With the campaigns winding down and a steady focus on the economy, the progressive income tax system that is used in the U.S. has come under fire recently as a form of socialism, a suddenly popular facet of discussion.