Tomorrow at 10:30 am Obama will present the balance of the details from his latest tax hike proposal, which obviously has no chance in hell of passing, but which will provide for substantial theater and hopefully deflect from the fact that Europe is closing an hour later. Courtesy of Reuters, here are some of the tax measures Obama has either already proposed, or may be looking at, to raise more tax revenue to help reduce the deficit, according to analysts, and what he will likely focus on tomorrow.
* The president wants a new tax on the rich, known as the "Buffett tax." Details were sketchy, but uber-investor Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in mid-August made his own tax proposal. If Obama's recommendation resembles the Buffett plan, then it would look like this:
--Hold income taxes steady for more than 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers. Raise rates, to an undetermined level, for individuals with income exceeding $1 million. Raise taxes for the super-rich making more than $10 million per year.
The "Buffett tax" could be a 5.4 percent surtax on joint returns above $1 million and individual returns above $500,000. If it is, it could bring in as new government revenue about $480 billion over 10 years, said analysts at MF Global.
* Under a $447-billion jobs plan unveiled on Sept. 8, Obama asked for a cap on itemized tax deductions and some exemptions at 28 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000.
POSSIBLE FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS
* The president may call for reining in the mortgage interest deduction. This could include denying it for second mortgages on vacation homes and yachts; lowering a $1 million cap on eligible first mortgages to perhaps $500,000; converting the deduction to a limited tax credit; or killing it, said analysts who stressed any changes would be phased in slowly.
* Another possibility is limiting the employer-provided healthcare income exclusion for higher-income tax brackets. It cost about $117.3 billion this year.
* In his jobs plan, Obama said he wants to close a loophole that lets private equity and hedge fund managers pay the 15-percent capital gains rate, instead of the 35-percent income rate, on much of their income known as "carried interest."
* On the corporate tax front, Obama may suggest a repeal of "last in, first out" accounting; elimination of the deferral of income tax payment on overseas corporate profits; or changing certain large flow-through partnerships (known as S-corps) into corporations, analysts said.
* Republicans and businesses want a lower overall corporate tax rate, but Obama is unlikely to support that without a large number of tax breaks and exemptions being closed.
* The president also wants to end several tax subsidies that support the oil and gas industry, and end a tax break for companies that own private jets.
* Obama may also be considering ways to get U.S. companies to bring home profits now parked abroad. Corporations want a tax holiday allowing them to bring those profits home at a reduced tax rate. They also want a new territorial tax system that would permanently tax exempt those profits, but many in Congress oppose both ideas. Big drug makers and high-tech firms with valuable intellectual property have a lot at stake on this issue