Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Washington Continues to Not Understand Taxation, Because Lobbyists…?

Writing for The New Republic, Danny Vinik takes a scathing look at the new tax deal that appears to have bipartisan support in Congress:

Imagine somebody asked you to imagine the worst possible deal on taxes. It'd probably have the following qualities:

It would be bad for the environment.

It would be bad for the deficit.

It would give short shrift to the working poor.

And it would be a bonanza for corporations.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to conjure up such a package. Congressional Republicans already have. And for some unfathomable reason, Senate Democrats including Harry Reid seem inclined to go along — although the White House has vowed to veto such a deal if Congress goes ahead and passes it.

So, it’s unsurprising that the Republican Party is in step behind this deal. But why are some Democrats, in particular Harry Reid? “Look no further than K Street,” Vinik writes.

As you can tell by their price tag, the tax extenders are very important to Big Business and they spend a lot of money lobbying for them. In March, Americans for Tax Fairness released a report on lobbying of major corporations over tax extenders between January 2011 and September 2013. During that time, General Electric, for instance, employed 48 lobbyists who contacted a member of Congress or their staff about the extenders. Overall, more than 1,300 unique lobbyists were involved in the issue. They spent millions of dollars on them as well.

He ends his piece with:

This deal was built on K Street and in the backroom offices of Congress. It’s everything that’s wrong with Washington and Democrats, in particular, should want nothing to do with it.

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