Defending Tax Cheats In One Easy Step

More

I'm quite impressed by this attempt from some conservative bloggers (Don Surber, Say Anything, etc) to turn the absolute least controversial aspect of Barack Obama's tax proposals into a thriving scandal. Say Anything says "Obama's tax changes are so burdensome and complicated that foreign investors are actually thinking about pulling out of American markets." Don Surber says simply that "Obama wants to dump free trade." What on earth are they talking about?


greenbook picture.png

They're talking about this article from the Telegraph that catalogs complains about changes in American accounting and withholding rules for British banks that contract with the IRS. (If you're curious, the proposal is on pages 41 and 42 of the administration's tax green book.) What I find impressive is that, while these rules might impose additional administrative costs on banks, they have nothing -- really, absolutely nothing -- to do with investors 'pulling out of American markets,' much less 'free trade.'

The rules are entirely about getting Americans with accounts and investments abroad to pay taxes that they are already legally obligated to pay. There might be some practical disagreement about the best way to go about doing this, but as far as know no one makes a serious argument for why we shouldn't be enforcing existing US tax obligations. Plenty of unserious arguments, though.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In