David Gamage

How to avoid another shutdown

David Gamage and David Louk write for Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2013

It is difficult to explain the recent government shutdown to citizens of other nations. In most of the world’s democracies, this kind of disruption can’t happen. Rules are in place to keep the government running even if a new budget isn’t passed on time. The U.S. needs to reform its budgetary processes to prevent the kind of crisis we saw recently.

Reality check: why US can’t just prioritize its debts

David Gamage quoted in NBC Bay Area, October 17, 2013

“Right now, Treasury’s computer systems are designed to pay bills in the order they come in,” Gamage said. “There is no programming in order to prioritize payments. That’s largely because it’s illegal to prioritize payments.” To take it a step further, even if Treasury tried to manipulate its computer systems, Gamage said there could still be disastrous consequences.

Putting Congress on cruise control

David Gamage quoted in The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, October 14, 2013 (registration required)

“Instead of having budgetary negotiation failures trigger government shutdowns, we propose that automatic continuing appropriations should maintain government spending in the interim until a new budget is passed,” write UC Berkeley law professor David Gamage and Yale Law School student David Louk.

Reality check: Can US pay debts during shutdown?

David Gamage interviewed by NBC Bay Area, October 7, 2013

“Treasury systems are designed to pay bills in the order they come in. There is no programming in place to prioritize payments; that’s largely because it’s illegal to prioritize payments…. It’s entirely possible—even if all interest payments are paid—that just the uncertainty and chaos surrounding the illegality could create a financial crisis worse than the one we’re currently recovering from.”

Disruptive technology: The Tax Injunction Act

David Gamage cited in TaxProfBlog, September 26, 2013

Well, the duo of Gamage and Shanske might be the Nate Silver(s) of tax controversy, as the Tenth Circuit held in the Brohl case that the reporting requirements constitute a tax for TIA purposes, and, therefore, the district court should not have reached the question of the constitutionality of the reporting requirements under the Commerce Clause.

IRS issues guidance on employer mandate delay

David Gamage quoted in Tax Analysts, July 15, 2013 (registration required)

“The problems that the employer mandate is designed to address, stemming from employers that drop unhealthy or low-income workers, should generally take more than a year to manifest,” said Gamage.

Ask the experts: what to make of the IRS “Tea Party” scandal

David Gamage quoted in Card Hub, June 3, 2013

“To begin with, I think the term scandal is somewhat overstated. … Congress, through the tax code, has charged the IRS with regulating the political activity of non-profit organizations, yet the IRS lacks the tools to do so effectively. The underlying law is a complete mess.”

New health care law tax surprise

David Gamage quoted in NBC Bay Area, April 19, 2013

“Essentially the idea is if you don’t buy health insurance you’re increasing costs for the whole health care system,” said Gamage…. “On your tax forms you will have to certify that you have insurance that qualifies from some source,” said Gamage. “And if you don’t you will be assessed a penalty, the individual mandate penalty.”