Research report

This paper outlines a plan for a VAT dedicated to paying for a new universal health insurance voucher combined with a vastly simplified and much flatter income tax. Top income tax rates could be cut to 25% or less and most taxpayers would not have to file returns. The health care voucher would...

April 7, 2009
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

The U.S. budget is on an unsustainable path. That is because Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which together constituted almost one half of noninterest spending before the recent stimulus plan, are all growing faster than tax revenues. If these programs are not reformed, tax burdens...

June 23, 2009
Rudolph G. Penner
Research report

This paper reviews recent economic events and their impact on U.S. fiscal performance and prospects. We highlight the historic nature of the 2009 budget outcomes, the unsustainability of plausible ten-year budget projections, and the increasingly dire long-term fiscal problem. These conditions...

June 25, 2009
Alan J. Auerbach, William G. Gale
Research report

Nearly half of all tax units will pay no income tax in 2009. The fraction of non-taxpayers differs widely, depending on income, tax filing status, and whether the unit is elderly or contains children.

July 2, 2009
Roberton C. Williams
Research report

The federal earned income tax credit (EITC) was established in 1975 as part of the individual income tax to offset payroll taxes for low-income working families. After several expansions, the refundable tax credit is now the largest federal cash assistance program for low-income families. A...

March 29, 2004
Deborah Kobes
Research report

In a tax system with increasing marginal tax rates, the tax increase from a boost to income is at least equal to the tax reduction from a decline in income and is larger if the change in income crosses a marginal tax bracket. As a result, people with volatile incomes may pay more tax than people...

November 24, 2003
Peter Orszag
Research report

Health costs now total close to one-fifth of households' personal income. For moderate-income workers whose cash wages are lower then they would be if employers weren't paying for their health insurance, the bite is often bigger. Many elected officials seeking health care reform don't even know...

September 29, 2003
C. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

On June 13, 2003, the IRS requested public comments on a proposed EITC procedure. The goal of this new EITC procedure, known as precertification, is to reduce EITC error rates by individuals who are ineligible. Because a variety of questions have been raised about this procedure, and also...

July 14, 2003
C. Eugene Steuerle
Research report

This paper evaluates the tax proposals put forth by the Bush Administration, the House of Representatives, and the Senate Finance Committee, with respect to their impact on revenues, short-term stimulus, long-term growth and distribution of tax burdens and after-tax income. Particular attention...

May 19, 2003
Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale, Peter Orszag
Research report

In 1986, a policy decision was made to exempt poor people from the income tax. Increases in the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the introduction of the child tax credit (CTC) have increased the so-called "tax entry threshold" since 1986, and provisions in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief...

May 12, 2003
Elaine Maag