Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tax Policy in the Obama Administration

As I am sure you are all aware, Tuesday night, Americans made history when they elected Sen. Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. We have a few weeks before President-Elect Obama takes office, but millions of people are already wondering what tax policy will be like under President Obama. Fortunately, one of my favorite blogs Tax Prof has collected a dozen or so blogs that have already written up answers to that question. Below are a few snippets, but you can see the full list of articles at Tax Prof Blog.

Tax policy under President Obama will be pragmatic and progressive, and gutsy. President Obama was the only candidate willing to go beyond the usual talking points of rates and base to the important question of how people pay taxes. He proposed a federal version of California’s Ready Return as early as the primary; he refused to pander by calling for a gas tax holiday and he was willing to tell voters a hard and unpopular truth: people at the top of the income distribution should pay more taxes than they are paying now. Although I don’t love his reliance on Clintonesque tax credits to achieve spending objectives, it is pragmatic. President Obama’s tax policy will not be a tax scholar’s dream, but his commitment to taxation based on ability to pay will change the tenor of tax policy debates in significant, and salutary, ways.

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