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This morning we get the specifics on how Dubya wants to spend our tax money when his Fiscal 2008 budget arrives on Capitol Hill.

Last week, Treasury officials were doling out snippets of what the document includes. Part of it will outline ways to collect some of the now $290 billion tax gap money via new requirements governing the disclosure of financial and business transactions. The thinking is that if Uncle Sam knows more about money being made, he can more easily ask for, and ensure that he gets, his share.

The budget also is expected to expand upon a previous proposal to increase random tax audits in specific sectors, such as small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Reuters has put together other highlights expected to be in the budget.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report that said a balanced budget was possible by 2012. However, the CBO's assumptions did not factor in either an extension of Dubya's tax cuts or proposed changes to the alternative minimum tax. Both of those tax situations, absent offsetting mechanisms to bring in the tax revenue they would cost the U.S. Treasury, would add to the deficit.

Even the Wall Street Journal, a long-time champion of most of the Administration's fiscal and tax policies,this weekend noted that those CBO numbers mean saving Dubya's hallmark tax cuts beyond 2010 is going to be tough.

Yes, it's going to get really interesting in Washington with the new Congress and the old policies.

A look at last year: While 110th Congress tax legislation is just getting started, how about a quick refresher of what happened in the last session? Did you know the first public law enacted from legislation produced by the 109th Congress was a tax measure?

Congress passed the Tsunami Relief Act just days after the Dec. 31, 2004, Indian Ocean tidal wave tragedy. It was signed by the president on Jan. 7, 1005, becoming Public Law 109-1. The measure allowed charitable cash contributions made that January to be deducted on 2004 returns.

Jct_blue_pub_cover_1 That's just one of the fascinating facts found in the Joint Committee on Taxation's "General Explanation of Tax Legislation Enacted in the 109th Congress."

I know, I know. Fascinating is a relative term.

Still, you're at a tax blog, so I'm presuming you might want to peruse the 806-page document that chronologically lists last session's enacted tax legislation. Can you imagine the size of the publication if it covered proposals that were introduced but that languished?

For each measure, you'll find a description of the prior law and discussion of the change. In many cases, say the Joint Committee Staff members who put this together, the reasons for the change also are included. Just for grins, in those instances where no reason for amending a law is provided, you can make up your own.

Bonus feature: The appendix shows the estimated costs of the 109th Congress' tax laws. My rough addition comes to just under $215 billion in lost revenue thanks to the 15 tax laws enacted last session.


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