Research report

Including employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) in taxable compensation would increase income and payroll tax receipts, but would also increase Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits by adding ESI to the OASDI earnings base. The increased present value of OASDI...

May 1, 2014
Karen E. Smith, Eric Toder
Research report

This paper provides an historical overview of tax reform with an eye toward identifying conditions that would make successful reform plausible in the near future. Burman begins by analyzing the environment that led to tax reform in 1986 and posits that successful reform would require strong...

April 24, 2014
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

The mortgage interest deduction is one of the most expensive federal tax preferences. Supporters claim it stimulates homeownership, which creates broad benefits to society beyond the benefits received by owners. But the case for these external benefits is unproven and the deduction is an...

March 28, 2014
Eric Toder
Research report

This paper reviews historical trends in economic inequality and tax policys role in reducing it. It documents the various reasons why income inequality continues to rise, paying particular attention to the interplay between regressive and progressive federal and state taxes. The report also...

March 20, 2014
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

The federal government channels much of its support for asset building through the tax code. Asset-building tax subsidies, primarily for homeownership and retirement saving, totaled $384 billion in 2013. This report reviews federal tax expenditures for housing, retirement, savings, business...

March 7, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, C. Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caleb Quakenbush, Caroline Ratcliffe
Research report

Senator Mike Lee's Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act (S.1616) would significantly expand tax benefits for children, repeal the alternative minimum tax, and repeal the Affordable Care Act surtaxes on earnings and net investment income. To partially offset the cost of these provisions...

March 4, 2014
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag, Georgia Ivsin, Jeffrey Rohaly
Research report

In 1975, the federal income tax code joined the "War on Poverty" with the enactment of the earned income tax credit (EITC). Today, tax credits form some of the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs in the US. In 2012, the Census Bureau estimated that tax credits cut poverty (under a...

January 7, 2014
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag
Research report

This study analyzes the effect of tax reforms on housing prices in selected cities. Using a model that incorporates transaction costs, the study finds (1) the presidents proposed limit on itemized deductions would have a minimal impact on housing prices; (2) eliminating itemized deductions...

June 5, 2013
Benjamin H. Harris
Research report

Although the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act instituted meaningful deficit reduction relative to previous policy, it still left the budget a far distance from any sustainable path. Under a plausible scenario, deficits never fall below 3.4 percent of GDP and rise to 5.4 percent of...

January 29, 2013
C. Eugene Steuerle, Benjamin H. Harris, Caleb Quakenbush
Research report

Surrounding many of the debates about the public sector has been one about which government level should be involved in performing which functions. As an empirical matter, both centralization and decentralization have occurred together throughout U.S. history. The vast majority of federalism...

November 28, 2012
C. Eugene Steuerle, Edward Gramlich, Hugh Heclo, Demetra Smith Nightingale