Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

State of the union: Taxes and politics prevail


So there you have it -- just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, election year State of the Union Address and opposition responses. Nothing at all political there. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

It's almost impossible to scrape the politics off your shoes after one of these things, isn't it? You can never quite get it all.

Still, let's give it a shot by taking a glance at some of President Obama's tax proposals.

  • He called for a longer-term extension of the payroll tax cut -- not a terribly bold move, since Congress was likely to do that anyway after passing a short-term extension in December.
  • He called for "lowering corporate taxes and providing incentives for U.S. manufacturers to bring overseas jobs back to America, while ending tax breaks for businesses that continue to outsource." That's a direct quote from CNN's coverage. "At the same time, Obama said, every multinational company should pay a basic minimum tax, while giving American manufacturers a tax cut."
  • And here's the big one: He endorsed the so-called "Buffett Rule" by calling for a tax code overhaul that includes a 30 percent tax rate on people who make $1 million or more per year. In addition, Obama believes that people impacted by such a provision "should not receive tax deductions for housing, health care, retirement and child care," the New York Times reported.

As if any of this stands a snowball's chance of seeing the light of day anytime soon. What happens when a divided Congress enters an election year? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Still, let the debate begin. Here's a sample of some of the analyses that have surfaced in SOTU's wake.

Take it all with an extremely large grain of salt -- and watch where you step.


Bill Sheridan