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What We Read Today 18 January 2015

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Obama targets top 1% with $300bn tax plan (Financial Times)  In next week's State of the Union (Tuesday) President Obama will request tax code changes that would remove the set-up in basis for assets held by an estate, a new 28% tax bracket for large amounts of long-term capital gains and dividends and a 0.07% tax on liabilities for institutions with assets greater than $50 billion.  The proposal is to have this serve as redistribution tool with increases in earned income and child-care tax credits for the lower middle class and the poor.  As such, it would be tax-revenue neutral, involving of the order of $30 billion in shifted tax liabilities per year.  The FT says:

Seeking to exploit a rising tide of economic populism in the US, Mr Obama will unveil proposals that would pump funds raised from banks and rich families into initiatives likely to be popular with the middle class, such as adding a new tax credit for households where both spouses work and expanding the tax benefits for child care.

However, the president’s initiatives are also likely to face fierce resistance from Republican lawmakers and Washington’s powerful financial services lobby, which have managed to block bank tax plans tabled by the president in previous years.


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