Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fiscal cliff video

I did a "Chicago tonight" segment on the fiscal cliff,

The other guest, Carl Tannenbaum, is a good friend as well as a thoughtful economist. We went to high school together. It was a pleasant surprise to run in to him in the foyer of WTTW's studios.

The intro segment is worth watching too. "Chicago tonight's" producers wisely got a real tax lawyer to explain what the "cliff" is all about.

How nice to start with a quick review of strategies that "the rich" will use to avoid the new taxes.

One year from now, the studies will start rolling in (I hope) documenting how much extra revenue the fiscal cliff tax hikes actually collected from their targets. My bet: less than half of the $60 billion advertised. I'll be surprised if it's positive, actually.

Who won the fiscal cliff negotiations? Democrats? Republicans? VP Joe Biden? No. Tax lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists.

In case you think any of this had to do with deficits, I sign off today with a lovely graph from a great piece by Yuval Levin:

And it will be less than that. Yuval uses the CBO forecasts, which assume rich people don't watch "Chicago tonight" and talk to their tax lawyers.