Martin Lobel is a partner in Lobel, Novins & Lamont, a Washington, DC law firm. Lobel was named as one of Washington’s top tax lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine in 2005 (which his friends claim calls into question their restaurant reviews) and represents numerous reporters. He was born in 1941 and was admitted to the bar in 1965 in Massachusetts and in 1968 to the District of Columbia and U.S. Supreme Court Bars. Lobel also serves as chairman of the board of Tax Analysts www.tax.org, a 501(c)(3).
He graduated cum laude from Boston University Law School and has an LLM from Harvard. He has written widely on taxes and other issues.
In 1968, he was an American Political Science Association Congressional fellow, working in the office of Gerald Ford, and was a legislative assistant and chief investigative aide to Sen. William Proxmire from 1968 to 1972.
Job destroying taxes? Ask pols, which ones are those?
COMMENTARY | June 18, 2012
Aren’t reporters tired of letting flannelmouthed politicians talk about ‘job destroying taxes’ without calling them on it? And on Obamacare – couldn’t the press, once in a while, point out that other values are at stake and get past dubious assertions about what the Constitution does or does not allow?
How many more crashes before we fix the economy?
COMMENTARY | December 23, 2011
Some lessons were learned from the 2008 economic collapse but few reforms have been implemented; moneyed resistance is too powerful and stubborn. So a good question is: When will we fix the system? After the next crisis? The one after that? We sure aren’t fixing it now.
The future of our economy depends on how well the media cover the tax debate
COMMENTARY | September 27, 2011
Martin Lobel writes that special interests are defining the terms of a debate in which the economy is at stake. And he offers an extraordinary resource to reporters who want to understand taxation issues better.
Remember 'too big to fail?' Want to see it again?
COMMENTARY | May 27, 2011
Wall Street's sense of entitlement continues. The big banks and brokerages, seeing themselves immune to punishment and abetted by lax regulators, are on the road to another crash, writes Martin Lobel. He proposes this as the new free market rule: Only small businesses have the right to fail.
If the Tea Party wins, who benefits? Not its members.
COMMENTARY | May 06, 2011
Martin Lobel holds that the Tea Party rank and file, knowingly or not, are led around by the rich and powerful. That in the name of reform, their plans would make things worse, not better for most Americans, including themselves. That right-wing think tanks are calling the shots, and the press is pretty much missing the story.
It’s time to do more than just say the economy is the No. 1 issue
ASK THIS | September 02, 2010
If voters are to go into the midterm elections with any understanding at all, the press needs to get away from he-said, she-said reporting and look into the positions that candidates and the two parties are taking. Martin Lobel offers some vital questions.
Cut tax expenditures to stimulate the economy
COMMENTARY | July 27, 2010
Cutting the special subsidies in the tax code would go far toward eliminating the deficit and stimulating the economy. It’s a way of letting the market work without government interference. Sounds like Republicans might favor it, right?
Wall Street reform is complicated, so why should the press even bother with it?
COMMENTARY | May 13, 2010
Martin Lobel says that if the press doesn’t blow away the smokescreen covering Wall Street gambling – haughty, naked bets with taxpayer guarantees – then reform will fail. It’s that simple.
Tax cuts are expenditures. Got that, reporters?
ASK THIS | April 14, 2010
Tax cuts are expenditures that increase the deficit. That’s a simple fact but, writes Martin Lobel, it appears to have eluded many Republicans, and most in the news media, as well.
Some remedies for the Supreme Court power grab
COMMENTARY | January 26, 2010
It’s easy to find activism, impossible to find original intent behind the Roberts/Scalia group’s ruling on corporate political spending. Martin Lobel suggests six sharp, practical steps to deal with it.
The case for taxing the very rich
COMMENTARY | November 04, 2009
There's no real economic recovery while so many Americans remain jobless. A new stimulus could bring about full employment, write Martin Lobel and Lee Ellen Helfrich, but it would be expensive. One way to fund it would be to increase taxes on the very rich, and cut their tax loopholes.
Needed: a new industrial policy that responds to things as they are now, not as they used to be
COMMENTARY | October 22, 2009
‘Efficient Market Theory’ failed; banks and big industry shared directors (and profits) and they failed. Nevertheless, writes Martin Lobel, until now the Obama administration has been more inclined to protect large financial institutions than to prevent a recurrence of failure.
Why aren’t domestic corporations backing Obama on limiting offshore tax breaks?
ASK THIS | May 07, 2009
The press needs to focus on basic questions, writes Martin Lobel. For example, how about exploring the relationship between campaign contributions and soft Congressional handling of corporate taxes?
What next, after outrage?
COMMENTARY | March 25, 2009
Top U.S. executives at the largest companies typically earn about 400 times as much as their average workers—and despite the economic meltdown, many of them still feel entitled. That’s outrageous, Martin Lobel writes, but few have questioned it until now, and it’s the press’s job to report how we got here and what needs to be done to prevent further meltdowns.
Questions about nationalizing the banks
ASK THIS | March 11, 2009
The U.S. government may be on the verge of nationalizing large banks. Two experts who anticipated America's financial collapse on this Web site as early as 2005, Martin Lobel and Henry M. Banta, propose basic questions reporters should ask about nationalization.
A stimulus bill by any other name is...?
ASK THIS | February 20, 2009
How to define the newly-enacted $785-billion bill? Is it a bailout bill? A jobs bill? Is it pork? Reporters and editors need to reject political spin and be precise because from day to day they will, in large degree, be defining the current economic debate.
In the future, get information in time to prevent a crisis
COMMENTARY | October 03, 2008
This is a job for serious experts. We’ve got them in academia. Let’s put them to work in Washington in an organized, watchdog fashion.
Long-range issues in resolving the financial crisis
COMMENTARY | September 24, 2008
Among the questions: Who exactly needs to be bailed out; are state pension funds damaged in your area; will programs be cut and taxes raised; will mortgages be modified so that people stay in their houses?
How much will the Paulson package cost, and where’s the money coming from?
ASK THIS | September 20, 2008
Martin Lobel notes that under Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson’s proposal, all key decisions would be made by him or his designees and would not be reviewable. Shouldn’t that raise some questions?
What’s the impact of the meltdown in your state?
ASK THIS | September 17, 2008
Wall Street sold an enormous amount of doubtful derivatives to state pension funds. What happens now?
Questions for McCain and Obama on the economic carnage
ASK THIS | September 16, 2008
The candidates talk about protecting the middle class; how would they follow up? Would they, for example, continue to let multinational corporations shift their profits to tax havens abroad? Keep taxing income from labor at a higher rate than income from capital? Eliminate corporate subsidies?
Of course lenders stopped lending. They’re not stupid.
COMMENTARY | July 22, 2008
The problem with the economy is that the market worked. That’s a concept reporters and editors need to grasp.
Change the economy? Change? How about some specifics?
ASK THIS | June 11, 2008
It's time reporters got Obama and McCain to go beyond calls for 'change' and spell out their positions on deregulation, deficits, the plight of the middle class, taxes and energy.
Why gas is almost $4 a gallon and some ideas on what to do about it
COMMENTARY | May 01, 2008
Separating the real from wishful thinking on energy independence, short- and long-term oil price solutions, subsidies, speculation and government regulation.
Republicans are conservative. Democrats are liberal. Got that?
COMMENTARY | April 27, 2008
Conservatives are for getting the government off the backs of the people. Or is that, getting the people off the backs of the government? One of those two, anyway. And what is it again that liberals stand for?
Why the economy is cratering: a guide for reporters
COMMENTARY | January 24, 2008
Martin Lobel and D. Jeffrey Hirschberg break down and examine the components of the economy’s plunge and urge the press to take a hard look at how Congress and the Administration plan to deal with it.
Have business reporters lost their souls?
COMMENTARY | September 13, 2007
How did the business press miss the unraveling of the subprime mortgage market? Martin Lobel writes that news organizations cover business like a horse race these days -- and have forgotten that a vigilant concern for the lot of the little guy, for the greater good, and for economic justice is what leads to the most important financial journalism.
Tax analyst sees press failure as partly to blame for looming economic crisis
COMMENTARY | August 11, 2006
Martin Lobel, citing a Senate subcommittee report, notes a $40 billion to $70 billion evasion of taxes by the very wealthy. He anticipates a reduction in consumer spending and impaired bank lending.
Q&A on Bush's energy proposals
ASK THIS | April 27, 2006
Skyrocketing prices are seen, finally, as leading drivers to conserve some gas and reject SUVs. But no serious government action is expected until public outrage gets a good bit higher.
What if there are no gains from reducing Mid-East oil imports?
ASK THIS | February 08, 2006
Writers are skeptical that there would be any real benefits, doubt Bush’s motives and pose sharp questions for reporters to ask. What would work, they say, are higher gasoline taxes to restrain consumption.
Lobbying reform – another approach
COMMENTARY | February 04, 2006
The current disclosure act, dating to 1995, is designed to hide, not expose lobbying activity. It exempts many individuals and organizations. For starters, Martin Lobel writes, lobbying reform must disclose ‘who is doing what to whom.’
A tribute to three public figures who died in recent days
COMMENTARY | December 21, 2005
Jack Anderson, Eugene McCarthy and William Proxmire set strong examples for the rest of us. Washington attorney Martin Lobel writes about the legacy of all three.
Press seen as failing to deal with economic abuses
COMMENTARY | October 01, 2005
Martin Lobel of 'Tax Analysts' rebukes he-said-she-said reporting; lists areas needing improvement and heads a group that tries to provide help and direction for the news media
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