Budget and economic news roundup

December 14, 2010

Here’s a roundup of this morning’s must-read budget and economic stories:

The Senate Monday successfully invoked cloture on the bill that includes an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax laws. The successful procedural vote means the Senate could have a final vote on the package as early as Tuesday evening.

Roll Call takes a look at the “sweeteners” in the tax package.

Some Republicans are voicing opposition to the tax cut deal: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said the package does nothing to reduce uncertainty. According to Politico, Issa called the package “an incomplete effort that fails to create a permanent tax structure giving businesses the kind of long-term predictability needed to support investment, economic growth and job creation.” In a USA Today op-ed former Gov. Mitt Romney hits on the same theme.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how temporary tax cuts and credits (the paper says there are now 141 temporary provisions in the tax code) affect taxpayers. Bottom line: “The level of uncertainty, unusual for developed nations, complicates planning and discourages hiring and investment, many economists and corporate executives say.”

In his departing speech Monday, former White House National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers warned against permanent tax cuts. The Huffington Post has a list of people under consideration for Summers’ job as top White House economic advisor.

Charles Kadlec writes in Forbes that taxing “the rich” actually hurts the middle class.

A judge in Virginia ruled yesterday that the part of the 2010 health care reform that requires individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. According to Bloomberg, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson said the “’unchecked expansion’ of congressional power represented by the insurance requirement ‘would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.’” The Washington Post says it’s likely the case will go all the way to the Supreme Court.

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