Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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An April 20 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin people favor a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts over spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. It also found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit and it is far and away the most popular deficit reduction measure.

An April 20 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin, people believe that the wealthy should pay more taxes than the poor or middle class. Also, 62 percent of people believe that growing inequality of wealth is a serious problem.

In an April 20 commentary, economist Bob Williams of the Tax Policy Center discussed marriage penalties and bonuses in the tax code.

An April 18 McClatchy-Marist poll found that voters support higher taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit by a 2-to-1 margin, including 45 percent of self-identified Tea Party members.

An April 18 Gallup poll found that 67 percent of people do not believe that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and 59 percent believe that the rich do not pay their fair share.

On April 18, I published an article in Tax Notes magazine examining the tax side of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan in some detail.

Also on April 18, the National Taxpayers Union published the latest edition of its annual report on tax complexity. That same day, the Laffer Center also published a report on the economic cost of tax complexity.

An April 18 report from the Peterson Institute warned against raising corporate taxes to deal with the deficit.

An April 1 working paper from the Centre for European Economic Research examined a large number of studies on the economic effects of tax reform. It finds that the short-run effects and the long-run effects often move in opposite directions.

On March 25, the KPMG Tax Governance Institute posted the transcript of a conversation with two figures deeply involved in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, then Treasury economist Eugene Steuerle, and David Brockway and John Buckley of the Joint Committee on Taxation staff.

I last posted items on this topic on April 21.

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.