How have recent developments affected the views of Senators on filibuster reform? Where do they stand now? They certainly have thought about the issue, haven't they? Well, it's really hard to get them to put their cards on the table.More
The evidence we have pieced together through additional probing suggests that for those aged 45 to 54, there is a range of policy options — beyond the fatalistic prescription to “just work longer” — that has the potential to materially enhance retirement security, if adopted quickly. For those aged 55 to 64 the outlook is bleaker, though temporary increases in Social Security payments targeted to that group (or its poorest members), or an expansion of anti-poverty programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), could, if enacted, ameliorate the worst of the anticipated impacts on the poorest retirees.
Despite the availability of a potential solution for the 45- to 54-year-old group and of an improved safety net for the 55- to 64-year-old group, no one we spoke with suggested that the political will to effect such changes exists today.More
If all Bush era tax cuts had been allowed to expire and if capital gains and dividend rates had been equalized with that of ordinary income, many “unaffordable” programs could have been paid for — even with the AMT being fixed.More
Though the supporters of Proposition 30 (Prop 30), the California ballot initiative to raise income tax rates on high earners as well as sales taxes across the board, put together a highly successful campaign, some wonder whether the techniques used to sell Prop 30 carry with them the risk of undermining future efforts to bolster government services.More
In ratifying Proposition 30 last month, California voters seem to have signaled that support for a tax increase is not political suicide in all circumstances. But to what extent does the marketing of the measure — a ballot initiative that raises taxes on annual income greater than $250,000 — provide a model for others to be successful in raising revenue for a spectrum of needed government services?More
Two large American companies recently announced that they are planning abandon the traditional “defined benefit” model of providing health insurance benefits to their employees and switch to a “defined contribution” model, in which they will offer employees a fixed annual sum — like a voucher — that the workers can use to subsidize insurance they will have to buy for themselves. The companies and other proponents of the defined contribution model tout the shift as “empowering” employees with greater “choice.” The result of Remapping Debate’s inquiries, however, make clear that the central motivation for the switch is to shift the risk of rising health insurance costs from employers to employees, thereby undermining a multi-generational compact between management and labor.More