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When is a 'fee' actually a tax?

(Forbes) Politicians are, by nature and necessity, truth-challenged. It”s tempting to call them liars, but that would be harsh, so let”s stick with the euphemism. After all, that”s what politicians do when it comes to taxes.

As everyone knows, the “breakthrough” budget deal now pending in the Senate includes no new taxes. We know this because Paul Ryan told us so. “The budget agreement does not raise taxes,” declares the House Budget Committee”s official FAQ on the budget deal. “There are no amendments to the Internal Revenue Code, and there are no increases in statutory or effective tax rates.”

Good to know. But the agreement does raise new revenue from “user fees,”