Economic Daily Outlook

FEBRUARY 14, 2012
Obama Seeks New Taxes on Rich
President Barack Obama called on Congress Monday to enact new taxes on the wealthy, restructure the tax code and approve short-term spending measures as part of an election-year budget plan aimed at boosting job growth and helping the middle class.

Why Tax Policy Assumes People Are Richer Than They Think (Bruce Bartlett)
The deceptively simple term “income” is at the heart of much of the debate about taxation. That was illustrated in a recent column in The New York Times, which provocatively reported that a certain James Ross of New York City paid 102 percent of his income in taxes in 2010.

Boos, and Backers, for ‘Volker Rule’
Foreign governments and financial-industry giants lined up Monday to throw one last roundhouse punch at a proposed rule that aims to limit risk-taking by U.S. banks.

U.S. carbon rules could slam door on new coal plants
The Obama administration is expected soon to unveil long-delayed rules limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power stations,possibly helping to slam the door shut well into the future on building plants that run on the fuel.

High-Risk insurance pools short on enrollees
When the health care law passed nearly two years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the temporary insurance pools meant to carry the high-risk uninsured until the coverage expansion kicked in would tear through their $5 billion budget in no time. That didn’t happen.
GOP revives pipeline push in highway bill
House and Senate Republicans are using battles over high-profile transportation bills this week to demand construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The GOP sees the battle over Keystone as an election-season political winner, but faces long odds of attaching pipeline provisions in the Senate, much less winning President Obama’s signature.

Profiting From Federal Aid
For-profit colleges that can accept federal financial aid from students charge about 75 percent more in tuition than those that can’t, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which suggests that federal aid might drive up college costs.

China’s leader-in-waiting to meet with Obama
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, the man set to become the country’s next paramount leader, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama and other officials at the White House on Tuesday during a U.S. visit that is likely to help burnish Xi’s statesmanly credentials at home and abroad.


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