New Social Security Benefits, and Taxes… And Another Plan to Tax the Wealthy


Elizabeth  Warren would raise Social Security benefits and—and taxes. The  Democratic presidential hopeful would raise benefits for all Social Security recipients by $200-a-month and boost benefits for low-income workers and family caregivers. She says she’d pay for it all and extend the program’s solvency for 20 years by raising payroll taxes from 12.4 percent to 14.8 percent and adding a new net investment tax, all on individuals making $250,000 or more. She unveiled the plan just before last night’s presidential candidate debate. 

Wyden proposes his tax-the-wealth plan. Top Senate Finance Committee Democrat Ron Wyden would restructure capital gains taxation to fund Social Security. He’d tax investment income at ordinary income rates and require high-income/ high-net worth taxpayers to pay tax on investment gains whether they realize them or not. The rules generally would apply to publicly-traded securities. Personal residents, family farms and retirement accounts of middle-income taxpayers would generally be exempt from the accrual regime  

Speaking of… Taxing the Rich: Issues and Options. A new paper by New York University School of Law’s Lily Batchelder and David Kamin describes options for raising revenue from the most affluent. It focuses on four structural reforms: (1) dramatically increasing the top tax rates on labor and other ordinary income, (2) taxing the wealthy on accrued gains and at ordinary rates, (3) a wealth tax on high-net-worth individuals, and (4) a financial transactions tax. 

Kicking the budget can down the road.The House may unveil its version of a stop-gap spending bill as early as today. The measure would keep the government running through Nov 21. Without it, the government would shut down in less than three weeks.    

How to stop a trade war? President Trump and his advisers are trying to figure out how walk back tariff hikes on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect over the next several months. This comes after both sides delayed for a few weeks some import taxes due to begin in October. Will this set the stage for productive new talks next month, and what effects will the levies have on the US economy as the 2020 election gets closer. “Trump has yet to endorse an approach,” reports Politico.

Will the United Kingdom tax all single-use plastic packaging? The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the British parliament has called for a tax on all single-use plastic packaging. Its latest report says that a fundamental shift away from all single-use packaging is necessary to protect the environment. 

Google pays over $1 billion to settle tax fight in France. The tech giant is paying $550 million in fines and the rest in back taxes to settle two tax disputes. For several years, the French government has investigated Google to see whether it  properly declared all of its activities within France’s border.

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