Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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In a November 29 commentary, George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen argued that higher taxes on corporate CEOs will have no effect on their incentives because companies will simply cover the higher taxes with higher compensation.

On November 28, I posted an article showing wide support for higher taxes as part of a deficit reduction package. Based on numerous public opinion polls, I show that two-thirds of Americans accept the need for higher taxes, including half of Republicans.

On November 23, economists Richard Cebula and Edgar Feige posted a forthcoming article on the amount of tax evasion in the U.S. They estimate that unreported income is between 18 percent and 23 percent of reported income; between $390 billion and $537 billion in 2009.

On November 22, the Tax Foundation published a study of problems in the taxation of multinational corporations.

A November 21 Bloomberg report explained methods by which the ultra-wealthy avoid paying taxes.

On November 21, Texas Workforce Commission chairman Tom Pauken published an article arguing that the United States should adopt a value-added tax in order to improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.

Also on November 21, Pew published a study arguing the case for a value-added tax as a deficit reduction measure.

A November 18 Marist poll found modest support for higher taxes on those making more than $250,000, but much stronger support for higher taxes on those making more than $1 million. It also found strong support for making the poor pay taxes. On the flat tax, the poll found that 36 percent of people think it would make the wealthy pay more and 18 percent think the poor would pay less.

A November 17 Pew poll found that 70 percent of people favor raising taxes as part of a deficit reduction deal; only 17 percent favor cutting spending alone.

On November 15, billionaire Mark Cuban posted a commentary denying that taxes are a significant factor in corporate decisionmaking.

I last posted items on this topic on November 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 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.