With America hurtling toward the fiscal cliff’s edge, Democrats and Republicans continue jockeying for position on whether to boost taxes on the rich, slash wasteful spending, or both.
Common ground might be found in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market. President Barack Obama has proposed limiting or ending the tax-exempt interest on municipal bonds for upper income Americans. Republicans would be wise to agree to Mr. Obama’s proposal and expand it to include the tax exemptions for all newly issued municipal bonds, regardless of income. According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, doing so would yield an estimated $124.4 billion over the next ten years.
Why would Republicans agree to eliminate a tax break? Simple: municipalities have become big spenders swimming in debt.