Alex Brill, a former policy director and chief economist of the House Ways and Means Committee, also served on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). In Congress and at the CEA, Mr. Brill worked on a variety of economic and legislative policy issues, including dividend taxation, the alternative minimum tax, international tax policy, social security reform, defined benefit pension reform, and U.S. trade policy.
At AEI, Mr. Brill studies the impact of tax policy in the U.S. economy; the fiscal, economic, and political consequences of stimulus legislation; health care reform, pharmaceutical spending, unemployment insurance reform; and financial innovation and technology.
Lawmakers will likely face a test on this soon-the current expanded unemployment program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2013, and some in Congress undoubtedly will seek to continue it. Perhaps the best policy Congress can pursue is to let this program end.
To be sure, Israel must make difficult choices to reduce its fiscal deficit, but attempting to do so by increasing the tax rate on business income---particularly mobile business activities such as export-oriented production---will discourage foreign direct investment (FDI) into Israel and may encourage Israeli firms to expand their businesses abroad instead of at home.
Sometimes patients forget to take their meds or choose to skip doses to save a little money. If this sounds like only a casual oversight, a small inconvenience, or an unfortunate personal cost-cutting measure, think again. There are real health and economic consequences when patients don't take their medications as prescribed.
Tax reform continues to move forward like a freight train, slowly picking up speed on a long journey to the president's desk. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Camp have forged an admirable working relationship, and they have publicly committed to doing something incredibly difficult in Washington: create winners and losers in tax policy.
Consumers are spending more and earning more
The uptick in consumer sentiment can be attributed to the reduction in uncertainty
Sequestration won’t impact the macroeconomy, though it might have an impact on individuals
Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson are back, advocating once again for lawmakers to reduce discretionary and mandatory spending, increase tax revenues, and shift focus to a simple but powerful metric: our federal debt burden relative to the size of our economy.
One of the next ACA taxes scheduled to take effect is a health insurance tax that will hit small businesses and their employees particularly hard. The tax is officially imposed on health insurance companies, but the greatest effect will be felt by their customers because the insurance companies will pass most of the burden on through higher premiums.
In two short weeks, taxes are scheduled to snap back to pre-2001 levels, with a typical median-income household seeing a $2,000 federal income tax hike. Democrats and Republicans agree that such a dramatic tax increase could push the U.S. economy back into recession. With the edge of the cliff in sight, it is time to get realistic and consider Plan B: recession avoidance.