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Author: Looney, Adam

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TPC's Analysis of Governor Romney's Tax Proposals: A Follow-up Discussion (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. GaleAdam Looney

Tax reform ideas played an important role in the recent Presidential election. Republican candidate Mitt Romney proposed large tax cuts and other changes that he said could be part of a revenue-neutral tax reform that also retained low rates on savings and investment and would not raise taxes on the middle class. In an earlier analysis, we showed that it was not possible to achieve all of Romney’s stated goals simultaneously. This paper reviews that analysis and critiques several responses to our analysis. Legislating realistic tax reform will require recognition of the difficult trade-offs among these competing goals.

Published: 11/07/12
Availability:   PDF


Implications of Governor Romney's Tax Proposals: FAQs and Responses  (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. GaleAdam Looney

A recent TPC paper examined tradeoffs among revenues, progressivity and tax rates in tax reform. It concluded that, under certain assumptions, any revenue-neutral plan along the lines Governor Romney has outlined would reduce taxes for high-income households, thus requiring higher taxes on other, even if the plan's financing is as progressive as possible, given the available tax expenditures. This paper addresses questions about that study and discusses new estimates that incorporate the taxation of municipal bond interest and the taxation of inside buildup in life insurance vehicles. These additions do not change the basic results.

Published: 08/16/12
Availability:   PDF


On the Distributional Effects of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. GaleAdam Looney

This paper examines the tradeoffs among three competing goals that are inherent in a revenue-neutral income tax reform—maintaining tax revenues, ensuring a progressive tax system, and lowering marginal tax rates—drawing on the example of the tax policies advanced in presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Our major conclusion is that any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.

Published: 08/01/12
Availability: HTML | PDF


The Debate over Expiring Tax Cuts: What about the Deficit? (Research Report)
Adam Looney

As the economy begins to recover from the Great Recession, policymakers must confront the next fiscal challenge: the long-run federal deficit. The first opportunity to do so is the impending expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts: full extension of all of the cuts would increase the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next decade. The president proposes to cut that cost by allowing some of these tax cuts to expire on schedule. New estimates from the Tax Policy Center illustrate the tradeoffs between deficit reduction and the impact on taxpayers of letting specific tax cuts to expire.

Published: 08/12/10
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