Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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On April 12, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report on tax administration practices in foreign countries.

Also on April 12, the Progressive Policy Institute published a tax reform plan that is a modified version of the one proposed by the Simpson-Bowles budget commission last year.

And on April 12, the S Corporation Association released a report on flow-through businesses that escape the double taxation imposed on C corporations.

In two April 11 commentaries (here and here), Americans for Tax Reform opposed abolition of any tax expenditures because it would increase taxes.

In an April 11 commentary, University of Massachusetts economist Nancy Folbre made the case for raising taxes to deal with the nation’s budget problem.

In an April 11 NBER working paper, economists Martin Feldstein, Daniel Feenberg, and Maya MacGuineas propose capping tax expenditures at 2 percent of adjusted gross income as a revenue-raising measure. A key benefit is that many people will be better off using the standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions, thus simplifying tax preparation.

On April 8, the Tax Policy Center posted a revenue estimate of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would reduce the top tax rate on corporations and individuals to 25 percent. It finds that it would reduce federal revenues by $2.9 trillion over 10 years. Note: Ryan has said that he will pay for his tax cut by eliminating tax deductions and credits, but has not named any.

On April 6, Americans for Tax Reform denounced the bipartisan Wyden-Coats tax reform plan.

On April 4, the Supreme Court ruled that tax credits were permissible in cases where government spending would be unconstitutional. In an April 15 commentary, economist Donald Marron of the Tax Policy Center took issue with the court’s reasoning.

On March 22, the Congressional Research Service issued a report on the value-added tax.

I last posted items on this topic on April 8.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.