Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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In an October 24 commentary, Syracuse University economist Len Burman discussed the similarities between a flat tax and a value-added tax.

On October 23, Wayne State University economist Richard Smith posted a paper examining the economic effects of enterprise zones. He finds that they just move the location of businesses and don’t increase the number in and around the zones.

On October 20, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report which found that 2 million people improperly claimed $3.2 billion of educational tax credits.

Also on October 20, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston published a study on the impact of federal and state tax policies in reducing income inequality. It finds that there has been little change since the 1980s.

An October 19 National Journal poll found that people support a surtax on millionaires by well better than a 2 to 1 margin.

On October 18, the Tax Policy Center published an estimate of the impact of the Cain tax plan. It finds that taxes would rise very substantially for all but the top 10 percent of households.

On October 17, I posted an article reviewing the economic legacy of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. I find that the effects were overwhelmingly behavioral, with very little macroeconomic impact. This suggests that tax reform has less potential to raise growth than commonly believed.

Also on October 17, Emory University economist W. Gavin Ekins posted a paper on the impact of the 1997 capital gains tax cut in stimulating the housing bubble.

On October 13, the New America Foundation published a study arguing in favor of a tax holiday for U.S.-based multinational corporations to repatriate their foreign earnings.

On October 11, Texas Wesleyan law professor Gary Lucas posted a forthcoming law review article questioning the legitimacy of high tax rates on cigarettes.

I last posted items on this topic on October 19.

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 for 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 his new book: The Benefit and the Burden .

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.