RYAN WANTS TO TAKE THE POLICY LEAD FOR THE GOP. House Speaker Paul Ryan is ringing in the new year by reminding his Republican colleagues that he’s ready to lead the party when it comes to policy. Ryan has been pushing the message for weeks and the Wall Street Journal writes that Ryan sees himself as the man in charge.
While Mr. Ryan is soliciting ideas from the rank and file, he has made clear he believes the party should tackle an overhaul of the tax code, which could include consolidating tax brackets and lowering rates but also targeting some popular tax breaks. He has also promised that the party this year will come up with a health-coverage plan that would replace the Affordable Care Act.
A YEAR OF FRESH OBAMACARE FIGHTS. House Republicans are planning to vote this week on a Senate-passed bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. President Obama is expected to veto the bill, but it signals the start of a big year of tests for Obama’s signature health-care law, and the Hill reports that not all of the attacks will come from the GOP.
There has been a historic increase in the number of people with health insurance, and the law appears at little risk of fully collapsing. But with 29 million people still uninsured, can ObamaCare go further? And how much will it all cost, both to the individual and the system as a whole?
THE IRS REALLY WANTS TO KNOW WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO GET YOU TO PAY. Tax season may have just started but the IRS has been working hard this year to find new ways to make sure that workers pay up every penny owed to Uncle Sam. The New York Times has a look at the new research into what it takes to get you to pay up at tax time.
The I.R.S. recouped about $65 billion of that through audits and other enforcement activities, but that still left another $385 billion in lost revenue — enough to eliminate a hefty chunk of the most recent budget deficit.
Figuring out low-cost ways to get more people to pay more of what they owe is animating the latest wave of research and spurring the tax collectors themselves to participate.