Nov 21 2012 | 11:36 AM

Everyone in Washington these days seems to be in favor of reforming the tax code and closing loopholes to solve our fiscal problems. But estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation suggest that there aren’t enough loopholes to close to fix $1 trillion-plus annual deficits. Doing away with the 10 biggest loopholes – or “tax expenditures” in budget-speak – will raise an extra $834 billion in revenues, but most are so politically sacrosanct that they likely will survive. Here’s the list:

1. Exclusion of employer-sponsored health insurance:  $164.2 billion

2. Exclusion of employer pension benefits:  $162.7 billion

3. Mortgage interest deduction:  $99.8 billion

4. Exclusion of Medicare benefits:  $76.2 billion

5. Preferential treatment of capital gains:  $71.4 billion

6. Earned income tax credit:  $58.4 billion

7. Deduction of state and...

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Nov 12 2012 | 8:30 AM

With the election now decided, attention has shifted to one of Washington’s favorite parlor games: who will be in and out in Obama’s second-term Cabinet?

POLITICO reports that the Obama administration has been planning “an extensive shuffle of his West Wing and Cabinet” for the past several months and may fill openings to reflect the campaign’s final calls for bipartisanship. According to the article, some of the top current officials expected to leave include Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretaryc and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Obama insiders have signaled that the administration will first look to replace expected vacancies at Treasury and Defense, says POLITICO. The Treasury post is considered to be “crucial for Obama’s second term challenges” of dealing with the fiscal cliff,  long-term debt and budget issues, and...

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Nov 8 2012 | 1:04 PM
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19:  (L-R) Office o...

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: (L-R)  Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

With the election decided, the Obama administration and Congressional leaders now face the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff. At the center of the upcoming negotiations on expiring tax provisions, automatic spending...

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