Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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A May 13 Bloomberg poll found that only one third of people believe it is possible to substantially reduce the budget deficit without higher taxes; two thirds do not.

Also on May 13, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress published a staff study on tax breaks enjoyed by oil companies.

And on May 13, the IRS Oversight Board delivered it annual report to Congress. It estimates the tax gap – taxes owed but not collected – at $290 billion.

A May 12 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that three-fifths of people would support higher taxes to reduce the deficit.

Also on May 12, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on corporate tax reform.

On May 11, the Internal Revenue Service published data for 2008 on the incomes earned and taxes paid by the 400 richest people in America. On May 12, Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center posted a commentary on these data.

Also on May 11, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released new data on the tax burden on workers’ wages in its member countries.

And on May 11, the Joint Committee on Taxation posted a roundtable discussion and the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

In a May 9 commentary, Princeton historian Julian Zelizer pointed out that Ronald Reagan raised taxes on several occasions in order to reduce the budget deficit.

Also on May 9, University of Arizona sociologist Lane Kenworthy posted a commentary in which he examined international data on taxes and work hours. He finds little evidence that high taxes reduce work hours.

A May 3 Reason-Rupe poll found strong support for the flat tax and strong opposition to a national sales tax. People are split on whether to eliminate tax deductions and credits in order to reduce tax rates.

Also on May 3, the International Monetary Fund published a staff position note on tax biases that encourage corporations to take on excessive debt.

I last posted items on this topic on May 4.

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.