I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Tax Expenditures

Next week's reading covers the Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's recommendations for reducing debt and deficit in the long run. The plan includes cutting tax expenditures, which seem more like tax exemptions. This pretty thorough, though not unbiased report by CAP explains them in depth, including why they are favored by members of Congress:
" tax expenditures receive different treatment in two key ways. Most tax expenditures are not subject to the same annual appropriations process as other forms of spending. This means they are less likely to be scrutinized.

Second, tax expenditures appear to be tax cuts instead of spending because they transfer funds to businesses and individuals through tax subsidies. It is therefore generally easier to win votes for tax expenditures than direct spending."

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