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TPC Citations & Sources

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TPC research and analysis appears in hundreds of news articles each year. Below is a partial list, including the sources used in selected articles. Please note, article links cited below were verified on the day of publication and may change. 

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  • State Tax Changes on the Way for 2012, CNNMoney (December 21, 2011) by James O'Toole

    "In other places, of course, state governments have moved to shore up revenues. Connecticut is increasing the corporate income tax on large businesses from 8.25% to 9%, and California will likely pass increases in the sales tax and the income tax for high earners next year, said Kim Rueben, a public finance economist at the Tax Policy Center."
  • New Leader for Urban Institute, New York Times, Economix blog (December 20, 2011) by Anne Lowrey

    "She cited the influential Tax Policy Center, a project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, as an example. 'It has done a very good job of doing relatively quick turnaround analysis of tax policy,' she said. 'They're a go-to site, and people, whether proponents or opponents of a proposal, rely on it.'"
  • Analysts Say Economic Recovery Might Suffer if Tax Break is Allowed to Expire, New York Times (December 17, 2011) by Annie Lowrey

    "The tax cut, part of a late 2010 deal between the White House and Congress, will save the average American household $934 in 2011, according to the Tax Policy Centerin Washington. Although the precise impact of the cut this year is impossible to know, analysts generally say it lifted spending and helped the economy cope with Europe's troubles as well as rising food and gasoline prices early this year."
  • Gingrich's Tax Plan Takes Him from Irresponsible to Reckless, Christian Science Monitor - online (December 14, 2011) by Robert Reich

    "Every dollar estimate I'm about to share with you comes from the independent, non-partisan Tax Policy Center– a group whose estimates are used by almost everyone in Washington regardless of political persuasion."
  • Analysis Confirms Gingrich Tax Plan a Massive Boon to the Wealthy, Atlanta Journal - Constitution  (December 13, 2011) by Jay Bookman

    "The Tax Policy Centerhas now released a more detailed, in-depth assessment of those proposed changes. According to the TPC, 82.9 percent of the Gingrich tax cuts would indeed go to those making $119,546 or more. The top 1 percent — those making $622,809 or more — would collect 50 percent of the tax cut, enjoying an average tax reduction of more than $340,000."
  • Estates Paying Taxes: Down. Estates Filing Returns: Up. Time - online (December 12, 2011) by Jonathan Berr

    "In 2011, some 3,300 estates will owe federal estate taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. That's the fewest in 75 years.

    Ironically, however, complying with the tax has gotten more complicated for more taxpayers. The reason: A feature of the law referred to as 'portability' enables people to transfer unused estate tax exemptions — up to $5 million per person — from a deceased spouse to his or her survivor, a move that could yield substantial tax savings.

    But in order to retain that unused exemption, says Tax Policy Center's Roberton Williams, 'a surviving spouse must file an estate tax return that specifically provides for portability, whether or not the estate owes any tax. Otherwise, the extra exemption is lost forever.' As a result, predicts Williams, the IRS will be swamped with 'many times the number of returns' from estates next year."
  • Hey, Remember the '80s? National Journal (December 11, 2011) by Jim Tankersley

    "Ferrara insists Gingrich's plan will achieve balance in a decade, thanks to increased growth and hemmed-in spending. But many economists say the plan, with its steeper tax cuts, could dig an even larger hole in the budget than Perry's, which the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerestimated would add a half-trillion dollars to the annual deficit in 2015. Gingrich's plan “is bound to lose quite a bit of revenue,” says Rudolph Penner, a former CBO director who is now a fellow at the Urban Institute and is affiliated with the Tax Policy Center. It could swell the deficit, crowd out private investment, and potentially hurt growth in the long run."
  • Democratic Super PAC Pulls the Reagan Card on Millionaire's Tax, ABC News - online (December 9, 2011) by Amy Bingham

    "'Reagan got rid of a lot of the underbrush that we have in the tax code that reduces tax liability, which is something economists generally believe in,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. 'A broad base with low rates is good tax policy.'" 
  • Endangered Federal Tax Deductions & Benefits, CNBC - online (December 5, 2011) by Heesun Wee

    "As Congress and President Obama head into an election year, tax reform has emerged as a key roadblock to lowering the nation's debt — and ultimately reviving America's economy and competitive edge. Beginning in the Bush presidency and continuing into the Obama era, national spending and tax revenue have diverged dramatically. 'We are rapidly approaching a time when the tax system we have will be unable to support the government that we want,' said Howard Gleckman, a tax expert and resident fellow at the Urban Institute. 'It's being held together by bubble gum and baling wire.' While much of the recent focus has been on the deficit-reduction “super committee,” Bush-era tax cuts, as well as long-in-place tax breaks, sunset at the end of 2011. Meanwhile, other established tax provisions will remain hot topics (and fair game) into the election year, as political and ideological rhetoric increases over how to reduce the nation's budget. We asked Gleckman, author of the Tax Policy Center's TaxVox blog, and Dean Zerbe, national managing director at the Alliant Group and former tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, for their take on these tax cuts and subsidies. Click ahead to see the most endangered tax provisions."
  • Obama Could Win if GOP Blocks Payroll Tax Cut, Fiscal Times (December 2, 2011) by Bruce Bartlett

    "Republicans respond that it would be folly to raise taxes on the “job creators.” But the idea that all rich people are job creators merely by virtue of being rich is complete nonsense. According to the Tax Policy Center, only about 3 percent of people reporting business income are in the top two tax brackets, and according to the Treasury Department, only one fifth of small businesses have any employees at all."
  • Charitable giving: Give a tax a break, Financial Times (December 2, 2011) by Kathryn Tully

    "But how much do tax breaks encourage giving? A study by the Tax Policy Center, a research group based in Washington DC, estimated that the proposed changes could cost charities $1.7bn-$3.2bn a year, though it is difficult to find a direct correlation between the value of tax breaks and donor behaviour."


  • Things to Tax, The New York Times (November 27, 2011) by Paul Krugman

    "For example, a recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerpoints out that before 1980 very-high-income individuals fell into tax brackets well above the 35 percent top rate that applies today. According to the center's analysis, restoring those high-income brackets would have raised $78 billion in 2007, or more than half a percent of G.D.P. I've extrapolated that number using Congressional Budget Office projections, and what I get for the next decade is that high-income taxation could shave more than $1 trillion off the deficit."
  • Tax Reform Grows Urgent, But Prospects Appear Bleak, Rueters (November 27, 2011) by Stella Dawson

    "'I am pretty pessimistic,' said Howard Gleckman, a policy analyst at the bi-partisan think tank Tax Policy Center. 'And yet the need for this grows all the time. The tax code is less and less able to generate the revenues for the size of government that we want. It gets worse with the aging baby-boomers.'"
  • Congress Faces Year-End Deadline to Preserve Benefits for Workers, Long-Term Jobless, Docs , The Associated Press (November 22, 2011) by Alan Fram and Donna Cassata

    "In a deal with Obama last year, Congress cut the 6.2 percent payroll tax — which helps finance Social Security — to 4.2 percent for this year. That has saved 121 million families an average $934 this year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center."
  • Appetite for Balanced Budget Vote Picks Up, The New York Times (November 11, 2011) by Jennifer Steinhauer

    "'I am pretty skeptical of these amendments,' said Donald Marron, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. 'We are so out of balance now that getting from here to balance would be tremendously difficult.' Further, Mr. Marron added, 'It is very hard to write down a set of constitutional rules that will have the flexibility to address the various shocks and crises as they happen.'"
  • Tax Burdens Tilt Coastal, and System's Fairness Is Debated, The New York Times (November 11, 2011) by Paul Sullivan

    "Eugene Steuerle, the economic coordinator of the 1984 Treasury Department study that led to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, said he could see both sides of the argument. But he came down against making any change based on geography.

    'At modest income levels, the cost of food might make a big difference between New York and Kansas,' he said. Yet computing that difference would be a bureaucratic nightmare. 'Once you pick a formula you get into this box and have to adjust it all the time — and the adjustments are infinite.'"
  • Bachmann: America Has Become 'Banana Republic', Associated Press (November 2, 2011) by Phillip Elliot

    "The Tax Policy Centerestimates that some 46 percent of households this year will not pay federal income taxes."
  • Perry launches first radio ad in New Hampshire, The Boston Globe (November 2, 2011) by Shira Schoenberg

    "Perry says he will balance the budget because he will cut spending, inspire economic growth through his tax plan, get rid of corporate tax loopholes, and bring money back to the United States from offshore. But the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says his tax plan will result in the federal government losing large amounts of revenue – around $995 billion in 2015."
  • Winners Equal Losers in Perry’s Flat Tax Plan, Group Says, Bloomberg (November 1, 2011) by Richard Rubin

    "The findings from the Tax Policy Center released yesterday are the first independent analysis of Perry’s plan, which the Republican presidential candidate detailed last week. The proposals would let taxpayers choose between the current tax system and his simpler approach with a single 20 percent rate and no taxes on capital gains or dividends."
  • Social Security on the Chopping Block, Washington Post - Wonkblog (November 1, 2011) by Dylan Matthews

    "Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal for an opt-in flat tax would primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans, according to a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization."
  • A Close Look at the Perry Tax Plan, The New York Times - Economix blog (November 1, 2011) by Bruce Bartlett

  • "In 2007, the Tax Policy Center analyzed a plan similar to Mr. Perry’s that had been proposed by Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who briefly competed for the 2008 Republican nomination. The analysis found that revenues from allowing people to choose would be substantially less than if everyone were forced into the new system." 


  • Mitt Romney Changes His Tone on Flat-Tax Plans, The New York Times - Online (October 23, 2011) by Richard A. Oppel, Jr. and Ashley Parker

    "'If you're going to get the same amount of revenue, someone has to pay the price,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Instituteand the Brookings Institution. 'The rich pay less, the poor pay nothing, and the middle class bears the burden.'"
  • Analysis: Republican candidate's tax plans may fall flat, Reuters- Washington DC Bureau (October 21, 2011) by Stella Dawson

    "The U.S. tax system is highly progressive. About 47 percent of American households do not earn enough to pay federal income taxes and the burden falls on middle- to upper-income groups, said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center."
  • Cain Outlines Exceptions to 9-9-9 Policy, Bloomberg News (October 21, 2011) by Steven Sloan

    "The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said Oct. 18 that the plan would cut taxes for almost 95 percent of taxpayers with annual cash income exceeding $1 million while 95 percent of Americans with cash income between $30,000 and $40,000 would face a larger tax bill than they currently pay. The analysis didn’t consider the poverty provisions as there weren’t details about the program at the time."
  • Cain's missteps may halt his campaign surge, Associated Press (October 21, 2011)

    "The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, said low- and middle-income families would be hit hardest, while households with the highest incomes would get big tax cuts."
  • Calculating the cost of the Bush Tax Cuts, Washington Post - Wonkblog  (October 14, 2011) by Suzy Khimm

    "According to Eric Toder, co-director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the figures 'seem to be in the right ballpark,' in line with TPC's own estimate of how much the top 1 percent and 5 percent of U.S. households benefitted from the Bush tax cuts."
  • Cain's '9-9-9' tax plan hits poor, helps wealthy, experts say, Washington Post (October 13, 2011) by Michael Fletcher

    "Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, is working on an analysis of Cain's signature policy proposal. Although the plan's details remain sketchy, Williams said that it would increase taxes for the poor and middle class, despite Cain's statements to the contrary.

    For starters, about 30 million of the poorest households pay neither income taxes nor Social Security or Medicare levies. 'So for them, doing away with the payroll tax doesn't save anything. And you are adding both a 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent income tax. So we know they will be worse off,' Williams said.

    At the top end of the income scale, meanwhile, the opposite would occur, he said. The top 1 percent of earners would get a tax cut under Cain's plan, Williams said.

    The nation's top income earners have reaped the vast majority of the nation's income growth over the past quarter century, pushing income inequality in the country to levels not seen since the Depression. The tax plan would exacerbate that gap, Williams said.

    'People at the top end pay 20 or 21 percent in income and payroll taxes now,' he said. 'This plan zeroes out their payroll tax and suddenly their tax is down to 9 percent. Then, like everyone else, they pay 9 percent on what they spend. But the rich don't spend everything they earn.'"

  • Warren Buffet Paid Just $7 Million in Taxes Last Year, New York Magazine - Online (October 13, 2011) by Joe Coscarelli

    "According to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group, the average tax rate for taxpayers in the middle quintile—those earning between $34,000 and $60,000 a year—is 12%, including payroll and income taxes. Those earning from $103,000 to $163,000--the top 80% to 90% of earners—pay 18.2%. Those earning from $163,000 to $211,000 pay 19.8%, and those earning from $211,000 to $533,000 pay 20.4%."
  • Occupy protests' strength is not in its numbers, The Palm Beach Post (October 11, 2011) by Frank Cerabino

    "The Tax Policy Center, a tax analysis wing of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, publishes a breakdown of where Americans fit in the economic pecking order."
  • Inside the Cain Tax Plan, The New York Times - Economix blog (October 11, 2011) by Bruce Bartlett

    "On the 53 percent meme, The Tax Policy Centerat the Urban Instituteand Brookings Institution points out that 'about half of people who don't owe income tax are off the rolls not because they take advantage of tax breaks but rather because they have low incomes.' Most of the rest 'pay no income tax because of provisions that benefit senior citizens and low-income working families with children.'"
  • For Those Who Aren't Fans of the '99 Percent,' There is the '53 Percent', NPR Online (October 11, 2011) by Mark Memmott

    "On the 53 percent meme, The Tax Policy Centerat the Urban Instituteand Brookings Institution points out that 'about half of people who don't owe income tax are off the rolls not because they take advantage of tax breaks but rather because they have low incomes.' Most of the rest 'pay no income tax because of provisions that benefit senior citizens and low-income working families with children.'"
  • The backlash against the rich, The Washington Post (October 9, 2011) by Robert Samuelson

    "Whatever the cause, inequality is a new political fault line. Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., proposeda 5.6 percent surtaxon those making more than $1 million to pay for President Obama's $447 billion jobs program. What could be easier? Millionaires are few in number (about 534,000, says the Tax Policy Center). They're increasingly unpopular, and they can afford it."
  • Obama on GOP: Act on jobs or get run out of town, Associated Press (AP) - Washington DC Bureau (October 6, 2011) by Ben Feller

    "About 392,000 households would get hit by the Senate Democrats' proposed 5.6 percent tax on income above $1 million, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank. In 2013, the first year the tax would take effect, those households would see their taxes increase by an average of $110,500, according to the analysis."
  • 48% of Americans Live in Homes Receiving Government Benefits, (October 6, 2011) by Derek Thompson

    "High unemployment and increased reliance on government programs has also shrunk the nation's share of taxpayers. Some 46.4% of households will pay no federal income tax this year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That's up from 39.9% in 2007, the year the recession began."
  • How the debt committee could fake its way to $1.2 (October 6, 2011) By Jeanne Sahadi

    "'They get to $1.2 trillion in savings, but don't impose pain until 2017 or so when ... many of them  will be gone,' Penner said during a speech at the National Economists Club last week."
  • 5 GOP Candidates, President Obama Could Pay Higher Taxes Under Buffett Rule, ABC News - online (October 5, 2011) by Amy Bingham

    "'It is virtually impossible to get an estimate of how much income tax they paid,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. 'You can't nail it down, but you could approximate.'"


  • GOP shifts away from payroll tax cut, Boston Globe (September 26, 2011) By Theo Emery

    "Donald Marron, director of the Tax Policy Center at the liberal Urban Institute in Washington, said he believes it makes sense to extend the policy and 'make it a little bigger,'' given the depth and length of the economic struggles."
  • Tax the rich? Absolutely. But there's so much more, The Palm Beach Post (September 23, 2011) By Randy Schultz

    "Take the 2001 tax cuts. According to a study by the Urban Instituteand the Brookings Institution, the cuts saved households with incomes between $63,756 and $104,997 - the second-highest-earning 20 percent of families - an average of $16,664. Households making more than $545,845 saved an average of $487,751. The top 20 percent of households got 61.6 percent of the tax-cut savings. Median family income didn't top out during the real estate bubble that followed the tax cuts. It topped out in 1999, during the decade the followed the tax increases of 1993."
  • The Social Contract, The New York Times (September 22, 2011) By Paul Krugman

    "According to new estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, one-fourth of those with incomes of more than $1 million a year pay income and payroll tax of 12.6 percent of their income or less, putting their tax burden below that of many in the middle class."
  • Tax the rich, Obama says; class warfare, says GOP, Associated Press (September 19, 2011) By Jim Kuhnhenn

    "On average, however, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more in taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. This year, households making more than $1 million will pay, on average, 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes. A household making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of its income in federal taxes, which includes income taxes and Social Security payroll taxes."
  • Ever-increasing tax breaks for U.S. families eclipse benefits for special interests, Washington Post  (September 17, 2011) By Lori Montgomery

    "'The big money is in the middle-class subsidies,' said Syracuse University economist Leonard Burman, former director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. 'You're not going to balance the budget by eliminating ethanol credits. You have to go after things that really matter to a lot of people.'"
  • Little excitement over Obama's plan, San Francisco Chronicle  (September 11, 2011) By Carolyn Lochhead

    "Donald Marron, director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerwho served in the George W. Bush administration, said he has grown humble about models such as Zandi's predicting a big jolt from the Obama plan."
  • Obama challenges GOP to back more payroll tax cuts, Associated Press (September 9, 2011) By Stephen Ohlemacher

    "The thing that is going to induce firms to hire is having demand for their product," said Roberton Williams, a former tax analyst at the Congressional Budget Office who is now a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. "If they see brighter skies ahead, they'll start hiring people to meet the demand. But until they see the promise of that, they are going to be very leery of expanding their payroll, and it doesn't matter whether you're subsidizing the cost of hiring a new worker or subsidizing the cost of an investment."
  • Schwarzman Takes Aim at Buffett on Taxing the Rich, The Wall Street Journal - Wealth Report (September 8, 2011) By Robert Frank

    "Yet the 53% number is worth examining, since the average effective federal-income tax rate (i.e. the taxes actually paid) for people making $1 million or more is only 29%, according to the Roberton Williams at the Tax Policy Center."
  • A Simple Income Tax, Reuters (September 6, 2011) By David Cay Johnston

    "These tax favors tend to be skewed up the income ladder. Less than half of homeowners, for example, make enough to get any savings from deducting mortgage interest. The share of people benefiting from tax breaks for retirement plans and healthcare rises with income, an upside subsidy system for the affluent. At the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Eric Toder, Len Burman, and Chris Geissler added up all of these tax breaks for 2007. The total came to $950 billion."  
  • Congress returns, and so does the partisan budget war, The Los Angeles Times (September 5, 2011) By Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons

    "'All on the tax side isn't going to happen; all on the spending side is going to require draconian cuts,' said Roberton Williams, a tax expert at the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center.

    'What's the right combination,' he said, 'is the question.'"

  • Jon Huntsman's Bold Plan for Health Care Reform (but not Entitlements), Forbes - Online (September 4, 2011) By Avik Roy

    "Though its four sections are titled Tax Reform, Regulatory Reform, Energy Independence, and Free Trade, the plan contains significant health policy reforms that would dramatically improve the (shrinking) private-sector portion of our health-care system. Most importantly, it echoes the Simpson-Bowles 'Zero Plan' for tax reform, from President Obama's deficit commission, by eliminating 'all deductions and credits in favor of lower marginal [tax] rates.' (For more details on how the Zero Plan affects people in different brackets, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Centerhas crunched the numbers.)"
  • Hoodwinked by Huntsman!, (September 1, 2011) By David Weigal

    "His tax proposal, a modified version of the 'zero' option in the Simpson-Bowles report, would make the income tax system more progressive by reducing the after-tax income of the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers, and especially those in the top 0.1%, according to an analysis of the 2010 proposal by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute."
  • Center for American Progress Playing Misleading Baseline Games, National Review (September 1, 2011) By Josh Barro

    "According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, on the whole, middle-class families would be forced to pay $1,890 in higher taxes under the no-tax expenditure plan compared to what they pay now. The richest one percent, meanwhile, would get an average tax cut of more than $7,000, because they benefit the most from the lower rates."
  • Republican Investment Tax Cutters Top Bush While Defying Buffett, Bloomberg (September 1, 2011) By Richard Rubin

    "Exempting capital gains from income would cut taxes for 4.3 percent of taxpayers and raise taxes for 6.8 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center. Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, said the counterintuitive result stems from eliminating the deduction of capital losses."


  • The 50% Of Americans Who Don't Pay Income Tax Will NEVER Be A Good Revenue Source, The Fiscal Times (August 31, 2011) By Michelle Hirsch

    "The Tax Policy Center's estimate means that some 76 million households won't pay federal income tax in 2011. But they still owe other taxes. About two-thirds pay payroll taxes, and most pay state and local income and sales taxes as well as excise taxes on gas, tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol. Of the one third who don't pay payroll taxes, more than half are elderly who no longer work, and just under half are families with incomes under $20,000. Only about 1 percent of the population pays neither income nor payroll taxes and earns more than $20,000 a year, according to the Tax Policy Center."
  • An Undeserved Attack on the 'Undeserving Poor,' Los Angeles Times (August 30, 2011) By Michael Hiltzick

    "There's a tiny kernel of truth nestled within this phrase. According to the most recent calculations by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, about 46.5% of all tax filers pay no federal income tax. That's a bit down from the peak of 50.8% reached in 2008 and 2009, but up from 39.9%, the figure for 2007. And it's way ahead of the 21% to 26% range during the 1990s, as calculated by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation."
  • Aux États-Unis, l'Idée de Taxer les 'Mégariches' Fait son Chemin, Le Figaro (August 17, 2011) By Cyrille Lachévre

    "Reste que, selon le Tax Policy Center, même en taxant à 50% tous les revenus au-dessus d'un million, on ne dégagerait que 48 milliards de dollars de recettes fiscales sur dix ans, montant très insuffisant au regard des ressources nécessaires pour réduire le déficit budgétaire. En revanche, faire remonter de 15% à 20% le taux maximal d'imposition des plus-values, comme sous Bill Clinton, générerait quelque 340 milliards de dollars sur dix ans."
  • Looking Closer at Taxes on the Rich, The New York Times (August 15, 2011) By David Kocieniewski
    "Whatever the political viability, his proposal would put a significant dent in the nation's budget shortfall. Based on projections by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional Budget Office and the Treasury, the tax increase on all three fronts would generate as much as $500 billion in new revenue over the next decade about a third of what the Congressional committee is supposed to cut from the deficit.

    'It’s not going to solve the long-term budget shortfall all by itself,' said Eric Toder, an economist at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. 'The only way to do that is to have broader tax increases or reduce entitlements. But it could be an important piece of the puzzle.'"

  • Rick Perry's Warped Tax 'Injustice', Washington Post (August 15, 2011) By Ruth Marcus

    "The nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerestimates that 46.4 percent of households will pay no federal income tax in 2011. This is, for the most part, not because people have chosen to loaf. Its because they are working but simply dont earn enough to owe income taxes, based on the progressive structure of the tax code and provisions designed to help the working poor and lower-income seniors.

    As the Tax Policy Center's Roberton Williams has explained, a couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax. Does Perry truly see this as an injustice? Does he believe his dismay should be alleviated by raising the tax burden on these households?"
  • Almost 1,500 Millionaires Do Not Pay Income Tax, ABC News - Online (August 6, 2011) By Amy Bingham

    "'In most cases, they are paying taxes outside the U.S. and the federal government says, "We are not going to double tax you. If you pay tax overseas and that's as much or more than you pay here, we aren't going to charge you more,"' Williams said."
  • If On The Dole Why Do You Still Get To Go To The Poll, Forbes - Online (August 3, 2011) By Linton Weeks

    "Almost half of voters pay no taxes and thus look to continue the bounty. Before the market futilely tried to correct in 2008, approximately 37.9% of tax filers, on net, paid no income taxes. As incomes ebbed and spending surged, per the Tax Policy Center, 46.4% of family units will pay nothing in 2011. Those who fail to contribute show no qualms voting others' output into their pockets."
  • Procrastination Nation: The Out Years, NPR - Online (August 3, 2011) By Linton Weeks

    "The folks over at the nonpartisan nonprofit Committee for Education Funding define the Out Years as 'the four fiscal years that follow the budget year.' While the people at the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Instituteand Brookings Institution, explain that an Out Year — when talking about budgets — is "a future year beyond the period over which budget costs are tallied (in recent years, after a 5- or 10-year period over which costs are estimated)."
  • U.S. Mortgage Tax Break Under Fire from All Sides; New Rules Would Halt Recovery, Realtors Say, Financial Post (August 3, 2011) By Garry Marr

    "The U.S. government wasn't thinking of personal mortgages when it first allowed interest expenses to be deducted for businesses and investment. 'We could almost call this an accidental tax subsidy,' said Eric Toder, institute fellow with the Urban Institute, noting that 100 years ago, few paid taxes and or even had a mortgage."
  • Does Debt Deal Put Mortgage Interest Deduction in Play?, McClatchy (August 3, 2011) By Tony Pugh

    "In fact, the average value of the deduction increases with income, from $91 for those who make less than $40,000 a year to $5,459 for those who earn more than $250,000, according to a 2010 report by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Instituteand the Brookings Institution, two center-left research centers."
  • La Bataille de Washington Attend son Vainqueur, Libération (August 1, 2011) By Lorraine Millot

    "Coupes. Une nouvelle règle d'or, inventée durant ce bras de fer et maintenant acceptée par les démocrates eux-mêmes, veut que tout relèvement du plafond de la dette soit compensé par des réductions au moins équivalentes des dépenses de l'Etat. Tout en réclamant ces coupes à grands cris, les républicains n'étaient pourtant pas pressés de préciser quels programmes sociaux tronçonner. Le plan républicain adopté vendredi à la Chambre des représentants était similaire à celui des démocrates, souligne Donald Marron, directeur du Tax Policy Center à l'Urban Institute: 'Les deux plans prévoyaient pour l'essentiel un plafonnement des dépenses discrétionnaires du gouvernement. Ce serait assez peu au regard du problème fiscal fondamental de ce pays, mais on n'a pas encore voulu s'attaquer à la difficile question de quels programmes devront être coupés.'"
  • Mortgage Interest Deduction No Longer the Sacred Cow, Epoch Times (August 1, 2011) By Gary Feuerberg

    "Home ownership in the United States increased dramatically from 1940 to 1970—from less than 44 percent to 65 percent, according to William Gale, et al. in Tax Notes, [a tax newsletter] in 2007.

    By the 1970s, the MID was one of the largest deductions in the tax code and remains so today, said Eric Toder, fellow at the Urban Institute and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Deducting the interest paid on personal loans, such as credit cards, was eliminated in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA), but the MID was retained."

  • Debt Ceiling Deal Casts a Bleak Light on the Future, Los Angeles Times (August 1, 2011) By Don Lee

    "'By itself, it doesn't do anything to solve the problems down the road,' said Roberton Williams, an economist at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, referring to the budget deal that is estimated to cut the federal deficit by about $2.1 trillion over the next decade."


  • No Longer in the Discussion: Jobs, Marketplace (July 28, 2011) By Nancy Marshall Genzer

    "Not everyone agrees that the government should spend money to boost employment. Some Republicans say cutting spending will create jobs. Economist Donald Marron was one of President Bush's top advisers. He says that's true in a healthy economy -- but not now.

    Donald Marron: 'We're in what's sometimes called a Keynesian world where if you do sharp budget cuts, that will result in less employment.'

    Marron says jobs will be back on Washington's agenda eventually, because unemployment is voters' biggest concern."

  • Closing the 'Tax Gap', Wall Street Journal (July 24, 2011) By Tom Herman

    "The IRS has issued separate estimates of the 'gross' tax gap and the 'net' gap. The gross gap is the difference between what taxpayers owe and the amount paid 'in a timely manner,' says Eric Toder, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

    The net gap is the gross amount minus an estimate of how much is recovered through 'voluntary late payments' and IRS 'enforcement' activities, such as audits and collection actions, says Mr. Toder, a former IRS and Treasury Department official."

  • Budget Solution: Squeeze the Middle, Wall Street Journal (July 13, 2011) By Sara Murray

    "The deficit is now about 10% of gross domestic product. To get it to 3%, a level many economists deem sustainable, by 2015 solely by raising taxes on $250,000-plus households would require more than doubling their top tax rate to 76.8%, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan number-crunching think tank. That is political poison, and, in the view of most economists, it would also be economically imprudent, discouraging income-earning work and encouraging tax-sheltering."
  • Another in the List of Loopholes, The New York Times (July 12, 2011) By Andrew Sorkin

    "Eric J. Toder, an economist at the Tax Policy Center, a research organization, said that the tax break might have made sense a generation ago when the market was mainly investors protecting their long-term profits. But with speculators betting on short-term price movements, the loophole is just that - a loophole.

    'It seemed like a reasonable compromise at the time to stop the straddle transactions,' Mr. Toder said. ''In retrospect, if the trading is so short term, it seems a little silly to give them preferential treatment.'"
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Alert: Offshore Corporate Cash Hoard, Reuters (July 8, 2011) By John Wasik

    "Besides, the repatriation break has been tried and was a bust. 'A "tax holiday" on repatriated funds is a proven failure,' writes William Gale and Benjamin Harris of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. 'It was already tried in 2004 and it didn't work.'"
  • Congress' Battle Over The Deficit Has Become A Game of Chicken, Fiscal Times (July 6, 2011) By Eric Pianin

    "Despite the Republicans adamant tone, some liberals continue to express hope that the ethanol vote in the Senate was a harbinger of a more accommodating attitude on the part of Republicans. “The ethanol vote said at least some Republicans are willing to vote for something that raises revenue,” said Donald Marron, director of the Brookings Institution-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center. 'How many if any House members are willing to do that remains to be seen.'"
  • The Debt Ceiling Is a National Disgrace, The Atlantic (July 6, 2011) By Derek Thompson

    "But it's never been that easy. The debt ceiling has always been used as a political tool. (President Obama voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.) Raising the ceiling has been called a "tax on the majority." In the last four House debt ceiling votes tracked by Donald Marron at the Tax Policy Center, the majority party outvoted the minority 871-3."
  • Debt Talks Complicated by What's a Tax Hike, Bloomberg News (July 6, 2011) By Richard Rubin and Steven Sloan

    "Donald Marron, a Bush administration economist who now directs the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerin Washington, estimates that about two-thirds of tax expenditures in 2007, or $600 billion, were like spending, equal to about 4.1 percent of gross domestic product."
  • Fighting Words in the Fiscal Showdown, Wall Street Journal (July 6, 2011) By David Wessel

    "'With our aging population and rising health-care costs, America will not be able to restrain spending enough to avoid increasing federal revenue above historical levels' of between 18% and 19% of gross domestic product, says Donald Marron, an economic adviser to George W. Bush who now heads the number-crunching Tax Policy Center in Washington."
  • How Obama and Congress Can Really Reduce the Defict, CBS MoneyWatch (July 6, 2011) By Carla Fried

    "If that's the President's goal, however, he must have some more substantive ideas for increasing tax revenue than last week's suggestion that we scale back the depreciation tax break for private corporate jets. Howard Gleckman of the TaxVox blog points out that move might save us $300 million or so a year, while this year's federal deficit is expected to clock in at $1.4 trillion."

    "There seems to be rare agreement that outright hikes on income tax rates are off the table for now. But what might be up for negotiation is scaling back so-called “tax expenditures.” That's the only-in-Washington way of saying tax breaks. Or as Donald Marron, director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the non-partisan Urban Instituteand Brookings Institute, recently put it in an insightful article in National Affairs, tax expenditures are simply Spending in Disguise."
  • Who Doesn't Pay Federal Income Taxes (Legally), The New York Times - Economix blog (July 1, 2011) By Bruce Bartlett

    "According to new data from the Tax Policy Center, this year 46.4 percent of tax filers will have no federal income tax liability. The following table presents the data."


  • The Great Billion Dollar Drug Scam, Al-Jazeera English (June 28, 2011) By Khadija Sharife

    "The US Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) revealed: 'The net cost of every dollar spent on research must be reduced by the amount of tax avoided by that expenditure.' The authors used data from official sources such as the Tax Policy Center, to reveal additional tax savings of 39 per cent. Cumulatively, taxpayer subsidies and credits reduced the overall costs from $403 million to $201 million."
  • 76 Million Families (and 7,000 Millionaires!) Don't Pay Federal Income Taxes, The Atlantic (June 22, 2011) By Derek Thompson

    "They might not be lucky as they seem, said Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center. Many of the things that can bring taxable income down from $1 million to zero are considerable misfortunes, such as: investments that lose significant income, a destroyed home or business (known as a casualty loss), high medical expenses (especially for those who self-insure), or nursing home expenses.

    'You can attribute some of those 7,000 non-tax payers to investment choices they made, like tax exempt bonds,' Williams told me, 'but a lot of this might be unfortunate happenstance. A tornado tore through your home, you got a very expensive form of cancer, you lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in an investment. Those aren't choices people made, they're just legal deductions under the law.'"
  • GOP Puts Tax Credo Under Microscope, Associated Press (June 19, 2011)

    "Donald Marron, director at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said an Obama administration proposal to cap all itemized deductions for wealthy Americans at 28 percent, rather than 35 percent as is now the case, could carry a less toxic political sting.

    'There's a growing recognition across the political spectrum that there are some things that really are spending programs that are structured as tax cuts,' Marron said. 'The challenge, particularly on the right, is how to get them comfortable to say that in public.'"
  • Portels to Power, The New York Times (June 17, 2011) By Guy Trebay

    "It is open to all — or at least, in an essential way, to all those in the top 1 percent of United States households: families with earnings the Tax Policy Centerestimates will be $3,061,546 on average this year for a family of four, as well as those from an even more-elevated category that the nonpartisan, nonprofit group calls the 'ultra rich.'"
  • Pawlenty's Super-Rich Tax Cuts, (June 17, 2011) By Charles Riley

    "'This is taking the Bush policy and doubling down, and maybe even doubling down again,' said Joe Rosenberg, a researcher at the Tax Policy Center. 'It's really quite dramatic.'"
  • Cutting the Deficit, Adding Jobs, The New York Times (June 15, 2011) By David Leonhardt

    "Late last year, Congress and the White House extended the Bush income tax cuts through the end of 2012 but cut the payroll tax only through 2011. This makes little sense, substantively. The payroll tax (which finances Social Security and Medicare) has become the main tax that most middle- and lower-income households pay, according to the Tax Policy Center. So cutting the payroll tax delivers more economic bang than the Bush tax cuts, at a far lower cost to the deficit."
  • States Are Rejecting Millionaire Taxes, Bloomberg Business Week (June 9, 2011) By Steven Sloan

    "Kim Rueben, director of the state and local program at the Tax Policy Centerin Washington, a nonpartisan research organization, says higher tax rates are tough to sustain in states that have progressive tax codes. New York, for instance, has seven tax brackets, with the highest rate kicking in at an annual income of $500,001. 'There are certain places that I think can afford to increase the progressivity of their tax system,' she says. 'In places that have a more progressive system, like California and New York, it becomes harder to keep raising that revenue.'"
  • The High Price of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Washington Post (June 9, 2011) By Michael Gerson

    "The current budget impasse in Washington is easier to summarize than resolve. A necessary increase in the debt ceiling will require a budget agreement. Any deal will consist mainly of spending reductions. 'But if we are talking about trillions,' says Donald Marron, director of the Tax Policy Center, 'that is an awful lot of money to move without concessions.' Democrats will insist on some revenue increases. Republicans won't accept tax increases. Yet stalemate involves unacceptable economic risk."
  • Don't Count On Stimulus; It's Not Coming, (June 6, 2011) By Charles Riley

    Eugene Steuerle, an economist and fellow at the Urban Institute, said Washington is mired in a particularly unproductive rut. 'It's as if neither party knows how to get anything done. Just the basic functioning of government has become more labored,' he said."
  • The Hidden Costs of Cutting the Mortgage Deduction, Fiscal Times (June 3, 2011) By Michelle Hirsch

    If prices decline across the board, that make already jittery consumers even less likely to spend. But the change may be a good thing in the long run. It could benefit people who currently don't own homes, says Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. 'The incentives will be for new housing to be smaller, because that's where demand will be,' he said. 'Less demand for mega-mansions and more ordinary, modest-sized houses built,' he predicts. Additionally, Williams points to the comparable homeownership rates in other countries with similar housing markets and demographics to the US, such as Australia and Canada that lack a mortgage interest tax incentive."
  • Levin Warns Republican Tax 'Blindfold' Would Hurt Families, Bloomberg News (June 3, 2011) By Richard Rubin

    "The fiscal commission that Obama appointed last year called for eliminating many tax breaks to reduce rates. A study earlier this year by the Tax Policy Center found that more than three- quarters of the benefits of itemized deductions go to people in the top 20 percent of the income distribution."
  • Mortgage Deduction Cap Mobilizes Builders as Home Slump Deepens, Bloomberg Government(June 1, 2011) By Andrew Zajac

    "'If the goal of the deduction is to enable people to own homes, you don't have to be subsidizing the purchase of these very big homes,' said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington, which is funded by the non- partisan Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution."


  • Stubborn Politicians, Stubborn Unemployment, U.S. News & World Report (May 26, 2011) By Danielle Kurtzleben

    "But the standstill on jobs measures is not simply a result of political stubbornness. There is also no sure-fire way to create jobs. Cutting corporate taxes may only be a minor boon to the economy, according to Joseph Rosenberg, research associate at the Tax Policy Center. 'It should certainly help at the margins, but I don't think anybody should expect significant job creation just from lowering the corporate tax rate,' he says. Likewise, creating manufacturing jobs may be a difficult proposition. As manufacturing grows more efficient and jobs once performed by humans can increasingly be automated, it is harder than it once was for the manufacturing sector to maintain jobs."

  • Putnam's Reynolds Warns Congress to Spare Savings Incentives, Bloomberg News (May 24, 2011) By Chris Condon

    "Congressional Republicans and the Obama administration have been trading proposals for reducing the government's debt, which is approaching the statutory limit of $14.3 trillion. The tax deferral on contributions to 401(k)s and similar retirement savings plans costs the federal government $118 billion annually, according to data from the Tax Policy Center and the Joint Committee on Taxation."

  • The American Tax Machine, (May 24, 2011) By Charles Riley

    "'All of that complexity didn't get in the tax code by accident,' Gleckman said. 'And it didn't get in there because some politician had a great idea. It got in because a business requested it.'"

  • A Rare Geppetto for Paul Ryan's Assertion on Obama's Hidden Top Marginal, Washington Post - Online (May 22, 2011) By Glenn Kessler

    "But, for the very wealthy, the new taxes could be significant. The Tax Policy Center calculates that the top 1 percent (with income above $643,000) would pay an average of $76,000 in additional taxes. The top 0.1 percent (above $3 million) would pay an average of $414,000 in additional taxes."

  • TNT Analysis: Average Pay Rising Fast for Area Government Workers, The News Tribune (May 21, 2011) By Kris Sherman

    "'Part of what's tricky is that I think the unions and the public sectors need to recognize the fact that the economy has gotten worse,' said Kim Rueben, a senior fellow and public finance economist at The Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C. 'Now I think there needs to be stronger, tighter wage negotiations on the part of public agencies, but that's a hard thing to do.'"

  • Reid Rejects Boehner Proposal from $2 Trillion in Spending Cuts, Los Angeles Times (May 20, 2011) By Lisa Mascaro

    "'Aug. 2 feels awfully soon to me for both fundamental changes on both the spending side of the budget and the revenue side,' said Donald Marron, director of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center."

  • What's the Future of the Mortgage-Interest Deduction? Wall Street Journal - Developments blog (May 18, 2011) By Matthew Strozier

    "Complaints about the mortgage-interest deduction are not new, but they have renewed vigor these days in the heated federal budget debate. The deduction ranks high among so-called tax expenditures, reducing federal revenues to the tune of $100 billion annually. 'So it's big and it's prominent,' said Donald Marron, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center."

  • Living In An Anti-Tax Fantasy Land, Boston Globe (May 18, 2011) By Scot Lehigh

    "When it comes to Medicare, a significant part of the increased spending will result from millions of aging baby-boomers joining the Medicare rolls, notes Len Burman, former director of the Tax Policy Centerand now a professor of public administration and economics at Syracuse University.

    'It is like saying the aging of the baby boomers is a spending problem,' he says."

  • Fear and Loathing as U.S. Hits $14T Debt Limit, Fiscal Times (May 16, 2011) By Eric Pianin 

    "William Gale, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Fiscal Times, 'The actual hitting of the debt limit today is not a big economic event, because the Treasury has this wiggle room. If they ran out of wiggle room it would be a problem. The Treasury has a number of thing things it can do to postpone when the debt limit is actually binding, even though we hit it today.'"

  • US Hits Credit Limit, Setting Up 11-Week Flight, Associated Press (May 16, 2011) By Paul Wiseman

    "'Having voted to run up the bill, it is utterly irresponsible to prohibit the government from borrowing the money to pay it,' writes Howard Gleckman, resident fellow at the Urban Institute."

  • How Paul Ryan's Plan Puts Politics Above Prosperity, The Atlantic (May 16, 2011) By Derek Thompson

    "Each of these graphs shows a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. In Rivlin-Domenici and Simpson-Bowles, the spending and tax yield almost-equal savings. In Obama's budget, tax increases outweigh cuts, but only barely. In Ryan's budget, however, it's all spending cuts. Goldman estimates a small revenue bump as richer Americans pay higher taxes over the next few years under the same tax code simply because they're making more money. But when the Tax Policy Center analyzed Ryan's Roadmap, it projected tax revenue would fall below 17% of GDP."

  • Rich and Sort of Rich, The New York Times - Online (May 14, 2011) By Andrew Ross Sorkin

    "Empirically, these households are surely not middle income. Only 2 percent of households in the nation make more than $250,000, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But some economists and tax reform advocates are questioning whether those households are rich enough to be worthy of the same tax bracket as millionaires. The very round nature of it suggests that its arbitrary, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center and the deputy assistant director for tax analysis at the Congressional Budget Office from 1998 to 2006. There’s nothing magical about $250,000 per year. It has no economic basis. It does have a political basis."

  • How Eliminating Tax Breaks Would Affect the Average Family's Budget, The Washington Post(May 13, 2011) By Karen Hube

    "Clearly, not all tax breaks are created equal, as anyone who has bounced across tax brackets knows. Many tax benefits notoriously have greater benefits the higher your income. Consider the mortgage interest deduction. 'If the government said, "The more money you make, the more we'll give you to pay for your house," people would say, "No way." But that's exactly what happens,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. 'The value of a deduction is going to be worth a lot more to the rich guy in the 35 percent tax bracket than for someone in the 10 percent bracket.'"

  • How Much Oil Companies Really Pay in Taxes, The Washington Post (May 13, 2011) By Steve Mufson

    "Whether it's a good idea to get rid of the tax breaks has little to do with property taxes or how much companies pay in gasoline, sales and payroll taxes, says Eric Toder, a tax expert at the Urban Institute."

  • Soak the Almost Rich, The New Republic - Online (May 12, 2011) By William Galston

    "Contrary to some media reports, the Congressional Budget Office has not prepared an actual cost estimate of what Ryan's plan would really cost. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center has prepared an analysis, and it found that the budgetary outlook under the Ryan plan would be substantially worse. It estimates that the budget deficit under the Ryan plan would reach about 7 percent of GDP and the debt would grow to 90 percent of GDP by 2020."

  • Budget Debate: What Does Trillions in Spending Cuts Mean?,, (May 11, 2011) By Huma Khan

    "'Both parties share that vision that, "hey we could save money without reducing the quality of care in health care," but they have very different prescriptions of how you accomplish them,' said Donald Marron, director of the Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute and former member of the president's Council of Economic Advisers."

  • This Fact May Not Sit Well: Americans Are Under-Taxed, McClatchy Company (May 5, 2011) By Kevin Hall

    "'They've been coming down for everybody, but we're taking more income at the top. Even if their rates are lower than they used to be, you are applying those lower rates to much larger income,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center who spent 22 years as a CBO tax and income analyst. 'The share of revenue being paid at the top end rises as their income rises too. But looking at the trend in effective rates, the rate has come down' for all income groups."

  • The People's Budget: Cutting the Deficit the Progressive Way, The Business Insider - Online (May 3, 2011) By Ed Dolan

    "But these tax reform proposals are half-steps compared with what could have been done, in complete consistency with the progressive agenda. For example, why not repeal the mortgage interest deduction? As I noted in an earlier post, the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates the mortgage interest deduction to be worth $5,393 a year for tax units in the top 1 percent of the income distribution (average income $1,302,188) but only $215 per year to those in the middle 20 percent (average income $43,678). For households in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, the deduction has almost no value. Getting rid of the deduction would raise $108 billion in 2012, rising to $162 billion a year by 2019. What keeps the mortgage interest deduction off the progressive hit list? Who knows. Maybe campaign contributions from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters."

  • Charities: Cut the Deduction, Pay a Big Price, The Fiscal Times (May 3, 2011) By Michelle Hirsch

    "Any reduction to the tax incentive is likely to affect some charities more than others. 'The plans we've seen would definitely affect the charities that high-income people give to more,' said Eric Toder, co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. That means a change would have a relatively larger effect on the arts, higher education, and nonprofit hospitals and research institutions, he adds. It isn't as likely to hurt religious organizations or charities for the poor, since those nonprofits get a lot of funding from the 70 percent of Americans who don't itemize on their tax returns."

  • Political Economy: Tax Choices, (May 3, 2011) By John Cranford

    "There's no doubt that the biggest share of the Bush tax cuts went to high-earning Americans. Several years ago, the Tax Policy Center, operated by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, estimated that the net effect of the Bush-era tax laws would be an aggregate cut of about $225 billion in 2011 for all taxpayers."

  • Hutchinson Is Wrong on Obama Tax Plan, Dallas Morning News (May 1, 2011) By Dave Michaels

    "'Those are almost by definition not small businesses,' said Howard Gleckman, a resident fellow of the Urban Institute and editor of the Tax Policy Center's tax and budget policy blog, TaxVox.

    Gleckman pointed out a revealing statistic in the Tax Policy Center's data: The average income of the 24 million 'small businesses' (with positive income) is $39,950. Clearly, most small businesses don't earn anywhere near the amount that would qualify them for a tax increase under the Obama plan."


  • Running In The Red: How the U.S., on the Road to Surplus, Detoured to Massive Debt, Washington Post (April 30, 2011) By Lori Montgomery

    "'It's not obvious that America was ready to have taxes at a level this high persistently,' said Donald Marron, a former CBO director who now heads the nonprofit Tax Policy Center. 'Some degree of tax cutting was inevitable.'"

  • The Left's Stealth Budget Plan, The Daily Beast (April 28, 2011) By David Graham

    "Politics aside, there's the matter of how realistic the People's Budget is as policy. While liberal economists like Krugman, Sachs, and Dean Baker have lavished praise on it, it's not a flawless document, says Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

    'The math is not unreasonable, but the proposals themselves raise a lot of policy questions,' Gleckman says. 'A top tax rate of almost 50 percent—people won't pay it. People will find ways to game the system.' The wealthiest, those most affected by the tax hikes, are more able to juggle funds and compensation to put off or avoid taxes, he notes. The difference between corporate tax rates and personal tax rates will also entice some businesses to legally restructure themselves to pay lower taxes. Both factors mean the revenue projections are optimistic.

    And Gleckman found some of the plan's choices confusing. Although the CPC budget caps itemized deductions—a tax benefit that disproportionately benefits the wealthy, who are far more likely to itemize—it does little to close other 'tax expenditures'—really, loopholes that cut into the government's take."

  • The House Progressive Budget, The Washington Post Blogs (April 25, 2011) By Ezra Klein

    "So does it all add up? Sort of, said the experts I consulted. 'In the same way that Ryan's plan is useful for showing how you could do this/what one would have to do on if you do it all on the spending side,' says William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, 'the House Progressive Budget shows how one might do this/what one would have to do to do almost all of it on the tax side of the ledger.' Gale thought their proposal probably went a bit far in new upper-income taxes, and treating capital gains as normal income might erect a barrier to investment. It would have been wiser, he thought, to be even a bit bolder in terms of new taxes and propose either an energy tax or a value-added tax. 'Still,' he said, 'I think it would be interesting to get this plan out in front of the American people and see how they react to it versus Ryan.'"
  • America's Richest Tax Breaks, (April 26, 2011) By Jeanne Sahadi

    "The mortgage interest deduction dates back to 1913. Interest of any kind at the time was treated as a deductible expense of business and investment income, according to a Tax Policy Centerpaper."
  • Republicans Only Have Four Options to Solve the Budget Problem, The Fiscal Times (April 22, 2011) By Bruce Bartlett

    "The tax side of Ryan's plan says only that the top tax rate on individuals and corporations would be reduced to 25 percent. It says nothing whatsoever about cutting taxes for anyone in the 25 percent bracket or lower. According to the Tax Policy Center, the Ryan proposal would reduce federal revenues by $2.9 trillion over the next decade."

  • Nonpayers Complicate Republican Effort At Overhaul of U.S. Tax Code, Bloomberg News Online (April 18, 2011) By Richard Rubin

    "Lawmakers often cite a 47 percent nonpayer figure from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerin Washington, which it calculated for tax year 2009, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center. The figure declined to 45 percent in 2010, and a comparable figure for 2011 is not yet available. It's likely to be lower, because the $400 per person Making Work Pay income tax credit from the 2009 stimulus law expired at the end of 2010."
  • Super Rich See Taxes Drop Dramatically, Associated Press (April 17, 2011) By Stephen Ohlemacher

    "There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

    'It's the fact that we are using the tax code both to collect revenue, which is its primary purpose, and to deliver these spending benefits that we run into the situation where so many people are paying no taxes,' said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, which generated the estimate of people who pay no income taxes."
  • Refund Madness: It's in the Air, Wall Street Journal (April 16, 2011) By Laura Saunders

    "A close look at tax data shows the growth in refunds hasn't been confined to taxpayers at any one income level, says economist Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Centerin Washington. Some people who suffered job or investment losses in the 2001 or 2007-09 recessions did overpay inadvertently, and received bigger refunds, but these increases don't explain the total rise.

    The past decade also brought new or short-lived tax benefits for which taxpayers may not have adjusted their withholding, Mr. Williams notes. Examples include the American Opportunity education credit; two of the three home-buyer credits; and the expanded child credit."
  • Deficit-Reduction Efforts Threaten Tax Breaks, USA Today (April 15, 2011) By Sandra Block

    "'It is hard to believe a tax preference that encourages people to go deeper into debt and directs capital into larger homes is socially beneficial,' Donald Marron, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told the Senate Budget Committee earlier this year."
  • Corporate Tax Crackdown Faces Big Obstacles From Lobbyists, (April 12, 2011) By Shannon Bream

    "Even if Congress can be convinced to make real changes to U.S. tax laws, don't expect corporate tax bills to skyrocket. Eric Toder, co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said there's no 'easy fix' to the dilemma.

    'It's very hard in a world, which is global, for any one country to tax corporations where they have an ability to either shift where they report income or shift their residence,' Toder cautions, adding, 'There's no magic bullet.'"

  • Deficit Forces Question: What is the Government's Role? NPR Online (April 12, 2011) By Liz Halloran

    "'People used to say there's not a dime's worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans when it came to government spending,' says Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center. 'Now you are seeing a fundamental difference in the view of government between the two parties — a contrast we haven't had probably since the 1920s.'"
  • Big Government on the Brink, The Washington Post (April 11, 2011) By Robert Samuelson

    "Few Americans realize the extent of their dependency. The Census Bureau reports that in 2009 almost half (46.2 percent) of the 300 million Americans received at least one federal benefit: 46.5 million, Social Security; 42.6 million, Medicare; 42.4 million, Medicaid; 36.1 million, food stamps; 3.2 million, veterans' benefits; 12.4 million, housing subsidies. The Census list doesn't include tax breaks. Counting those, perhaps three-quarters or more of Americans receive some sizable government benefit. For example, about 22 percent of taxpayers benefit from the home mortgage interest deduction and 43 percent from the preferential treatment of employer-provided health insurance, says the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center."
  • The President is Missing, The New York Times (April 11, 2011) By Paul Krugman

    "The nonpartisan Tax Policy Centerputs the revenue loss from these tax cuts at $2.9 trillion over the next decade. House Republicans claim that the tax cuts can be made “revenue neutral” by “broadening the tax base” — that is, by closing loopholes and ending exemptions. But you'd need to close a lot of loopholes to close a $3 trillion gap; for example, even completely eliminating one of the biggest exemptions, the mortgage interest deduction, wouldn't come close. And G.O.P. leaders have not, of course, called for anything that drastic. I haven't seen them name any significant exemptions they would end."
  • Paul Ryan's Medicare Proposal at a Glance, The New American (April 6, 2011) By Raven Clabough

    "The Tax Policy Centercontends that the healthcare overhaul lays the groundwork for Paul's plan, as it sets up an individual mandate, sets up an exchange, and establishes minimum standards for insurance plans.

    'Additional premium support for seniors would be the final piece of the puzzle,' explains Tax Policy Centerfellow Howard Gleckman. 'Seniors would be able to buy affordable private coverage through the same sort of exchanges as tens of millions of working people…the idea is not as radical as it sounds.'"
  • The Real GE Scandal, Newsweek (April 3, 2011) By Robert J. Samuelson

    "That's all backward, say three economists from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. We should lower the tax on corporations. That would make the United States more attractive to U.S. and foreign multinationals. We should then raise taxes on the people who receive the benefits of corporate profits. The economists suggest cutting the corporate rate to 26 percent and increasing the capital-gains rate to 28 percent; dividends would be taxed as ordinary income. If done properly, this switch would create jobs, lower tax avoidance, and cut budget deficits. Eliminating unwarranted business tax breaks could raise extra revenues."
  • Sen. Marco Rubio Says the United States Will Soon Have the Industrialized World's Highest Corporate Taxes, (April 4, 2011) By Becky Bowers

    "But there are at least three ways to compare corporate taxes, said Bob Williams, senior fellow at the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. One of them — the share of GDP claimed by tax or other measures of how much revenue is collected — depends too much on the size of the corporate tax base to allow valid cross-country comparisons, he said."
  • Political Economy: Never Mind, (April 5, 2011) by John Cranford
    "In the aggregate, they carve about $1.2 trillion annually out of taxes that would otherwise be collected, economist Eric J. Toder told the Finance panel. Toder, who is co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, refrained from judging the individual merits of specific tax expenditures. But at the same time he tarred the bunch of them with a rather broad brush.

    One problem is that the specific congressional intent behind some of these provisions is difficult to discern, so it's hard to gauge whether they work. More critically, taxpayers often don't follow the script. 'Even with fairly simple incentives, people may fail to perceive the benefits to them from particular choices,' Toder said. Complexity only makes it worse, and so does the fact that individual taxpayers seldom act rationally. As a result, some tax breaks have no hope of successfully channeling the public's economic behavior."


  • 15 Top Corporate Tax Dodgers, The Daily Beast, (March 28, 2011)

    "'Companies are becoming much more sophisticated in the way they arbitrage the U.S. tax system,' says Howard Gleckman, a resident fellow at The Urban Institute, which analyzes economic issues in the U.S. 'GE is not the only one, there are many other companies doing the same thing.'"
  • Sorry, GOP: Tax revenue needs to go up,, (March 25, 2011) By Jeanne Sahadi

    "Consider that in 2010, all of discretionary spending - including defense - totaled $1.35 trillion. In other words, to do deficit reduction all on the spending side means 'you have to cut into the real meat,' said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center."
  • Q&A: Foreclosures, Property Taxes, Deductions, and More, Wall Street Journal, Developments blog, (March 23, 2011)

    "'Limiting the mortgage-interest deduction comes up in discussions of federal tax reform for three main reasons: 1) It is a pretty large tax expenditure that reduces federal and state revenues by billions of dollars each year; 2) It may create incentives that are bad for both the country and homeowners; and 3) It's not particularly fair. The deduction benefits only homeowners who itemize their deductions, which means that higher-income households generally benefit more than those with lower income. What's more, because the tax subsidy is bigger if you borrow more, the current system induces people to buy bigger and more expensive houses rather than just encouraging them to become homeowners. And because the value of the deduction depends on your marginal tax rate, tax savings are a much larger percentage of mortgage interest payments for people with higher income. Most of the more likely scenarios for reform involve either lowering the maximum mortgage interest that can be deducted or replacing the current deduction with a credit (and this is still pretty unlikely). Replacing it with a credit, would make it equally valuable to all-independent of what your tax-rate is. If limited, it could lessen the incentive to buy bigger houses.'"
  • Millionaires would pay higher taxes under Democrats' plan,, (March 17, 2011) By Charles Riley

    "Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said the bill would likely result in increased revenue, but maybe not as much as Schakowsky expects."
  • Taxes, jobs: Governors all over the place, Arizona Daily Star, (March 6, 2011)

    "'As much as Nevada talks about getting California business because of their low taxes, their population would need a substantial amount of retooling,' said Kim Reuben, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington. 'Nevada has survived largely on growth, a place where people without much education could get relatively good jobs in construction and casinos. California is a place that has great intellectual institutions and will always attract talent and overcome its taxes.'"
  • Calls for new VAT tax prove unpopular with both Dems, GOP, The Hill, (March 4, 2011) By Bernie Becker

    "'If you take everyone's projections of where we're going in the future, it looks like we're on a trajectory where we're going to need more revenue,” said Donald Marron, who worked in the George W. Bush White House and is now director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. 'And then you have to have a discussion on where that comes from.'"


  • How Much Do Public Workers Earn? The Facts, NBC Connecticut, (February 21, 2011) By Tom Curry

    "'People who go into the public sector — especially at the highest occupations that require a lot of education — are trading off stability for higher salaries,' said Kim Rueben, a public finance economist at the Urban Institute. That is, such highly educated workers could likely make more money in the private sector but wouldn’t enjoy as much job security. For Lower educated workers, they actually do get a premium for being in the public sector, even on the wage side,' said Rueben"

  • Government Shutdown Looming: What Does it Mean for You?, (February 21, 2011) By Huma Khan

    "'A shutdown can be, depending on whose exempted or not, pretty significant to all of our lives, absolutely,' said Howard Gleckman, a resident fellow at the Urban Institute. 'People don't think about how much it is that the government does for them. There would be no planes if it weren't for TSA and air traffic controllers. And as far as Social Security, somebody actually has to run computers to make sure checks run.'" 
  • Same-Sex Couples And The Marriage Penalty, Wall Street Journal, (February 19, 2011) By Laura Saunders

    "The penalties typically arise when spouses have two similar incomes, so that the benefit of wider low brackets is outweighed by the fact that the total income pushes the couple into higher ones. The higher brackets also are less generous for married couples than they are for singles. This burden doesn't fall only on high earners; one of the largest marriage penalties in the system can hit low-income spouses with children when both qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, according to Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center." 
  • Willie Sutton Wept, New York Times, (February 17, 2011) By Paul Krugman

    "About the fraudulence: Last month, Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center described the president as the 'anti-Willie Sutton,' after the holdup artist who reputedly said he robbed banks because that’s where the money is. Indeed, Mr. Obama has lately been going where the money isn’t, making a big deal out of a freeze on nonsecurity discretionary spending, which accounts for only 12 percent of the budget." 
  • State's Offer of Tax Breaks No Guarantee for Jobs, Associated Press, (February 16, 2011) 

    "'As much as Nevada talks about getting California business because of their low taxes, their population would need a substantial amount of retooling,' said Kim Reuben, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington. 'Nevada has survived largely on growth, a place where people without much education could get relatively good jobs in construction and casinos. California is a place that has great intellectual institutions and will always attract talent and overcome its taxes.'"
  • Obama's 2012 Budget Saves $1.1 Trillion, Cuts Deficit, Lew Says, Bloomberg, (February 14, 2011)
    By Roger Runningen and Alex Wayne
    “'That’s a lot of stuff,' Marron, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and a former member of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a telephone interview. 'Maybe we just run at last year’s levels if we can’t strike a deal.'"
  • States' Offer of Tax Breaks No Guarantee for Jobs, Associated Press, (February 12, 2011)

    "'As much as Nevada talks about getting California business because of their low taxes, their population would need a substantial amount of retooling," said Kim Reuben, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington. "Nevada has survived largely on growth, a place where people without much education could get relatively good jobs in construction and casinos. California is a place that has great intellectual institutions and will always attract talent and overcome its taxes.'"
  • Tax Reform Game: How Low Will Obama Go?, (February 8, 2011) By Susanna Kim 
    "Toder wrote on the Center's website that even with tax reform, corporate taxes are difficult to collect for companies that transcend national boundaries.

    'Congress and the I.R.S. can and should continue to try to outlaw specific abusive transactions, but it is a never-ending and losing game as well-paid private sector advisers find new ways to shift income within the letter of the law,' Toder wrote."

  • The Biggest Corporate Tax Breaks, The New York Times, Economix blog, (February 7, 2011) 
    By David Leonhardt  
    "Eric Toder of the Urban Institute says 'the ten most costly provisions benefiting business investment account for about 92 percent' of revenue losses over the next five years. First on his list is the deferral of foreign-source income of American multinational firms. This is what allows a company like GE to pay an extremely low rate. And it just so happens that GE’s CEO is now the chairman of Mr. Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. As Mr. Toder states, 'the corporate leaders now advising the president are likely pushing him to move in the opposite direction, following our major trading partners, who exempt foreign-source income.'

    Go down the rest of Mr. Toder’s list and you’ll find more cause for pessimism. The expenditure accounting for the second largest loss of revenue—the accelerated depreciation of machinery and equipment—has just been increased. The credit for research and development is unlikely to be cut, as are credits for low-income housing. The one area Mr. Obama has specifically targeted—tax breaks for fossil fuels—is relatively small (and unpopular)."

  • Ryan's Deficit-Cutting Proposals Too Ambitious Even for Fellow Republicans, Bloomberg
    (February 2, 2011) By Catherine Dodge  
    "Those changes would cause federal revenue to decline as a percentage of GDP, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center in Washington. The analysis said Ryan’s plan would reduce taxes for most people, with the largest cuts going to the highest earners.

    "'He wants a tax system that will generate approximately 19 percent of GDP,” said Joseph Rosenberg, a research associate at the Tax Policy Center who did the analysis. 'The plan he laid out doesn’t come close enough to that level.'" 

  • Shooting the Fat on the VAT, The Hill, On the Money blog, (February 2, 2011) By Bernie Becker 
    "Tax reform is an area that has been discussed as a possible area of bipartisan cooperation in the particular Congress. The witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing – who also included Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institue; Donald Marron of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center; and Rosanne Altshuler of Rutgers University – all said the American tax system was in dire need of fixing."


  • For Working Poor, Tax Tweak Cuts Pay, Detroit News(January 31, 2011) By Brian J. O'Connor 
    "'If you had a high income, you got nothing under Making Work Pay,' says Roberton Williams, a senior fellow with the Tax Policy Center. 'Now, if you're a low-income worker, you lose out. If you're a high-income worker, you make out like a bandit.'"
  • Thanks for the Boom!, (January 24 2011)
    By Phil Izzo. 
    "'The economy is in recovery,' said Gale. 'You're seeing a slow but otherwise nont exceptional recovery. For years, everythings that was good that happened was attributed to Reagan tax cuts, and then it was attributed to Bush tax cuts. That's just politics. The interpreting of every blip is more evidence that this tax cut works, or that works, while ignoring every blip in economy, is kind of silly.'"
  • Planning For Your Estate, Tax Deal or Not,, The Tax Blog, (January 11, 2011)
    by Arden Dale. 
    "'Estate planning can result in much lower net values and hence much less (or no) tax,' says Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center."
  • Obama Moves on Tax Reform, But GOP Wary of Sticking Points, The Hill, On the Money blog
    (Janaury 15, 2011) By Bernie Becker 
    "According to Donald Marron, the director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a more comprehensive reform would be 'harder to pull off, with more moving pieces. With corporate reform, you can narrow the scope."
  • The Treasury Department on friday Touted the Start of a Temporary Payroll-Tax Holiday That Will Cut Taxes for Workers by $110 Billion This Year, Dow Jones Newswires, (January 14, 2011) By Martin Vaughn and Jared Favole.  
    "'It's a very regressive change. The losers from December to January, the people whose taxes are going up, are predominantly at the lower end of the income scale,' said Williams."
  • Will Bigger Paychecks Bring a Better Economy? Washington Post, (January 9, 2011) By Ylan 
    Q. Mui. 
    "'We know that people are sitting on bundles of cash,' says Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. 'Giving them more money is not necessarily going to make the economy grow any faster.'"
  • The Coming Talk On Tax-Reform: What's At Stake, Reuters, (January 6, 2011) By Linda Stern.  
    "'The future growing deficit is the biggest problem we have," says Toder, who suggests it would be an opportunity wasted if policymakers were to go through something 'as politically painful as tax reform' without getting some revenues at the same time."
  • I.R.S. Watchdog Calls for Tax Code Overhaul, The New York Times(January 6, 2011) By David Kocieniewski.
    "Howard Gleckman, an analyst at the Tax Policy Center, has said that neither President Obama nor Congress has shown any eagerness to confront the combination of spending cuts and rate increases that would be needed to address the budget deficit."
  • Why Tax Reform Won't Happen This Year, The Atlantic, (January 1, 2011) By Derek Thompson.
    "We have learned a lot in recent weeks about who funded those non-profit outfits that plowed tens of millions of anonymous money into this year's congressional campaigns. And much of the cash that found its way into the coffers of successful GOP candidates came from two sources: Wall Street and energy producers--among the biggest beneficiaries of special interest tax breaks. These folks paid good money to protect their subsidies. And I suspect they'll get what they paid for."