Focus on Tax Policy

Focus on Tax Policy

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In a September 16 working paper, Mercatus Center economist Veronique De Rugy is highly critical of the small business tax bill before Congress. She says all businesses should be treated equally.

On September 14, the House Ways and Means Committee released new distribution tables on the impact of extending expiring tax cuts only for the middle class or for all taxpayers.

On September 11, legal scholars J. Clifton Fleming and Robert Peroni posted a forthcoming article in the Virginia Tax Review on tax expenditures. They defend the Haig-Simons definition of income as a standard against which to determine and measure tax expenditures.

An Allstate/National Journal poll released on September 10 asked people about the Bush tax cuts; 36 percent said to keep all except those for the rich, 35 percent said to extend all of them for everyone, and 20 percent favored allowing all the tax cuts to expire. That same day, Gallup released a poll showing that 44 percent of Americans favor keeping the tax cuts except those for the rich, 37 percent said to keep all the tax cuts for everyone, and 15 percent want all the tax cuts to expire.

Also on September 10, the Tax Policy Center published an analysis of President Obama’s proposal relating to business depreciation.

And on September 10, University of Cincinnati law professor Paul Caron posted a list of links to academic papers online by newly appointed Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee, whose work at the University of Chicago often dealt with tax policy.

On September 8, the Congressional Research Service issued a report on expiring tax provisions.

A September 2 report from Pew examined the fiscal impact of extending all the Bush tax cuts.

In a September study, economist Alan Viard argues that the negative impact on economic growth of allowing tax cuts for the wealthy to expire would be substantial.

The September issue of the American Economic Review carries an article by Bank of Portugal economist Isabel Correia on the distributional consequences of enacting a flat rate consumption tax to replace the income tax. In contrast to previous research, she finds that such a reform reduces inequality and improves the welfare of the poor.

I last posted items on this topic on September 7.

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. Read his most recent column here. 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, Impostor: 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.