Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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On January 14, Loyola Law School hosted a conference on tax expenditures. Presentations were made by experts such as Deborah Schenk of NYU, Donald Marron and Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center, and Thomas Hungerford of the Congressional Research Service, among others.

In a January 12 commentary, University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan expressed doubt that investment tax credits stimulate investment.

On January 10, the Columbia Journal of Tax Law published an article advocating “presumptive” taxation of small- and medium-size businesses as a means of improving compliance.

In a January 7 commentary, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt questioned the value of the deduction for charitable contributions because most of the benefits go to the rich.

Also on January 7, Richard Ainsworth of the Boston University law school posted a paper that reviewed the experience of the European Union with cutting the payroll tax and its impact on employment.

On January 5, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson delivered her annual report to Congress. Among the findings: taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours per year complying with the tax laws and the average taxpayer receives more than $8,000 worth of tax breaks annually.

In a December 29 commentary, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein explains why he approves of the recently enacted tax cut.

On December 20, the Tax Policy Center published a study of the dependent exemption. It reduces aggregate revenue by $38 billion and benefits 48 million families. The current level of $3,650 per child, however, is very substantially lower in real terms than the $3,000 exemption in 1913. (Adjusting only for inflation, the dependent exemption would be worth $66,000 today.)

In , the Brookings Institution published a study by University of California, Berkeley, economist Alan Auerbach that examined corporate tax reform.

I last posted items on this topic on December 28.

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.