90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Time For A Better Tax System?

John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook

On the eve of the tax filing deadline, we ask the question on everyone’s mind: Is this the best tax system we can come up with?

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Sonia Joaquin holds a sign to remind passing motorists that Thursday is the deadline for taxes in Tigard, Ore. on Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP)

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Sonia Joaquin holds a sign to remind passing motorists that Thursday is the deadline for taxes in Tigard, Ore. on Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP)

You’ve got until tomorrow to file your 2011 tax return. It’s a chore for everyone – and for many, a nightmare of complexity and uncertainty. Are we stuck with this 70,000 page tax code forever? Or is Washington finally going to give us a fairer and simpler one? President Obama says millionaires – like him and Mitt Romney — need to pay more.

But Romney says any tax increase would hurt our economy. Would lower rates for business create more jobs?

Up next On Point: The policy, and politics, of creating a new tax system.

-John Harwood

Guests

Margaret Collins, covers personal finance stories for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress

Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center

From The Reading List

Yahoo Finance “President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid a 20.5 percent federal tax rate on $789,674 in adjusted gross income for 2011, according to tax returns released today by the White House.”

New York Times “Taxpayers of all incomes would pay higher taxes. The Tax Policy Center says those in the bottom 20 percent, making about $8,500 a year on average, would pay 9.4 percent of their income in all federal taxes. This amounts to about 13 percentage points more than they do today (now they get a net credit). The average federal tax for those in the top 20 percent — families making $214,000 a year — would rise to 34.5 percent from 22.9 percent.”

Reuters “Republican Mitt Romney, looking for a boost in his presidential campaign, proposed an overhaul of the tax system on Wednesday that he said would cut Americans’ tax rates by 20 percent and limit deductions for the wealthy.”

 Los Angeles Times “Both candidates claim they want “tax reform,” but when they say those words, they’re really talking about other things.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

 
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment