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The federal revenue surge won’t last

There were many happy faces in Washington on Friday with the Treasury Department's announcement of robust tax revenues for April. Individual income-tax receipts surged to $240 billion for the month, taking the total for 2013 to $483 billion. This is far greater than the $393 in tax revenues the federal government collected for the first four months of 2012. The increase far surpassed the Congressional Budget Office projections in February.

The influx surprised the CBO and many other observers, but it shouldn't have. Neither should the dramatic drop that is likely to follow, though policy makers will be tempted to behave as if the revenue flood will continue.

Breaking up banks is easy when they aren’t failing

If we decide to break up the big banks, can we actually do it?

first and most obvious proof that we can lies in the 2010 bank-regulation law,
the Dodd-Frank Act,
which requires America’s too-big-to-fail banks to submit plans -- so-called
living wills -- outlining how they can be dismantled if they get into trouble.
So these banks have already provided breakup blueprints.

that is required is to remove the conditionality and change the timing: Break
them up now, not when and if. And what could be easier than doing so according
to their own instructions, and so, once and for all, eliminate the systemic
risk posed by the biggest and riskiest banks?

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