Federal Budget and Tax Policy
letter to our elected officials regarding the proposed tax bill - 11/1/2017
To our elected officials;
We are members of a group of ~500 citizens living in Southeastern Massachusetts united in our wish to protect our democracy and the vulnerable in our communities during an era of unprecedented threat and instability. It is in this context that we are writing about the current deliberations around tax reform and the implications of such reform on the federal budget. We believe strongly that the federal tax code and the federal budget should reflect the values of our country and our citizens.
THE FEDERAL BUDGET AND TAX POLICY (FBTP) HUDDLE WILL FOCUS ON:
· Promoting awareness and understanding of the sources and uses of federal funds, the federal budget process and the ways in which both the federal budget and the federal tax policies impact various US population groups, the country and our international relations
· Assessing budget and tax proposals coming from the Trump administration and Congress in terms of their impact on the common good.
· Supporting budget and tax proposals that address income/wealth inequities, ensure safety net support for the most needy, protect the environment, promote the creation of good jobs and contain the federal deficit among others.
· Resisting budget and tax proposals coming from the Trump administration and Congress that exacerbate income/wealth inequities, dilute the safety net support for the neediest in our society, hurt the environment, promote the creation of good jobs to the detriment of the environment, national security, etc, and worsens the federal deficit, among others.
· Educating others in our community about the budget and tax policies and engaging them in both promotion and resistance as needed.
In the near term, the FBTP huddle will educate itself about the existing budget – both revenues and expenses - the various options being considered by the administration and the congress and the processes by which the both the budget and taxes will be presented, reviewed and enacted over the next two years. Once we have a better understanding of all of the above, we will develop a game plan for proceeding!
USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.
We rely exclusively on publicly available government data sources. We don’t make judgments or prescribe specific policies. Whether government money is spent wisely or not, whether our quality of life is improving or getting worse – that’s for you to decide. We hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government. Such debate is vital to our democracy. We hope that USAFacts will make a modest contribution toward building consensus and finding solutions.
center on budget and policy priorities
We are a nonpartisan research and policy institute. We pursue federal and state policies designed both to reduce poverty and inequality and to restore fiscal responsibility in equitable and effective ways. We apply our deep expertise in budget and tax issues and in programs and policies that help low-income people, in order to help inform debates and achieve better policy outcomes.
Congressional Budget office
Since 1975, CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. Each year, the agency’s economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.
CBO is strictly nonpartisan; conducts objective, impartial analysis; and hires its employees solely on the basis of professional competence without regard to political affiliation. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate summarizes the methodology underlying the analysis. Learn more about CBO’s commitment to objectivity and transparency.
tax policy center
The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, has been educating the public and its leaders about tax and budget policy for over a decade. TPC combines high-quality, nonpartisan research with an unflagging commitment to translating complex analysis into accessible and engaging language. Simply put, we believe that better information, rigorous analysis, fresh ideas, and clear communication can shape decisions and improve policy. We focus on five overarching areas:
Fair, simple, and efficient taxation:
Business tax reform:
Social policy in the tax code:
Long-term implications of tax and budget choices:
State tax issues:
The tax foundation
As a nonpartisan, educational organization, the Tax Foundation has earned a reputation for independence and credibility. All Tax Foundation research is guided by the principles of sound tax policy, which should serve as touchstones for policymakers and taxpayers everywhere.
Tax codes should be easy for taxpayers to comply with and for governments to administer and enforce.
Tax policies should clearly and plainly define what taxpayers must pay and when they must pay it. Disguising tax burdens in complex structures should be avoided. Additionally, any changes to the tax code should be made with careful consideration, input, and open hearings.
Taxes should neither encourage nor discourage personal or business decisions. The purpose of taxes is to raise needed revenue, not to favor or punish specific industries, activities, and products. Minimizing tax preferences broadens the tax base, so that the government can raise sufficient revenue with lower rates.
Taxpayers deserve consistency and predictability in the tax code. Governments should avoid enacting temporary tax laws, including tax holidays, amnesties, and retroactive changes.