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Author: Brown, Samuel

1-7 of 7     Back to Authors  


Small Business, Innovation, and Tax Policy: A Review (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. Gale

Small businesses occupy an iconic place in American public policy debates. This paper discusses interactions between the federal tax code, small business, and the economy. We summarize the characteristics of small businesses, identify the tax provisions that most affect small businesses, and review evidence on the impact of tax and other policies on entrepreneurial activity. We also examine evidence suggesting that it is young firms, not small ones, where job growth and innovation tend to occur. Policies that aim to stimulate young and innovative firms are likely to prove different than policies that subsidize small businesses.

Published: 04/08/13
Availability:   PDF


Carbon Taxes as Part of the Fiscal Solution (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. GaleFernando Saltiel

The U.S. faces substantial and unsustainable budget deficits, which will require tax increases and spending cuts to resolve. A carbon tax could raise revenues, with several positive effects: it would improve environmental outcomes, increase economic efficiency, and allow the elimination of selected tax subsidies and spending programs. While a carbon tax imposes a larger burden on lower-income households, the opposite applies for many of the other options like scaling back tax expenditures. A long-term deficit reduction package that included a reduction in income tax expenditures as well as a carbon tax and offsetting payments could provide a balanced distributional effect.

Published: 03/12/13
Availability:   PDF


Tax Reform for Growth, Equity, and Revenue  (Research Report)
Samuel BrownWilliam G. Gale

This paper examines the fiscal outlook and tax reform options in the United States. The major conclusions include: the United States faces a substantial fiscal shortfall in the medium- and long-term; both spending cuts and tax increases should contribute to the solution; tax increases need not do significant harm to economic growth; and there are sensible ways to both reform tax structure and raise revenues, including tax expenditure reform, the creation of a value-added tax, the creation of a carbon tax, or an increase in the gasoline tax.

Published: 11/30/12
Availability:   PDF


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 Cyclicality of Federal Receipts (Article/Tax Facts)
Samuel Brown

The CBO recently projected that the federal government will collect about 15.3 percent of GDP in revenue during the 2011 fiscal year. Although this is higher than 2009 or 2010, federal receipts will still be much lower than the average from 1981 to 2007. The slow economic recovery explains a portion of this deviation from historical norms. Analysts use cyclically-adjusted measures to identify the degree to which the tax-to-GDP ratio is due to temporary economic conditions versus other factors. This article briefly explains how the business cycle can affect the ratio of federal receipts to GDP.

Published: 09/27/11
Availability: HTML | PDF

1-7 of 7     Back to Authors