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Taxing Capital Income

Do We? Should We? Can We? Can We Not?

The Tax Policy Center

Published: January 10, 2006
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The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This transcript is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

The text below is a portion of the complete document.


Proceedings

MR. BURMAN: I would like to welcome you to this conference on Taxing Capital Income. I am going to start with a few logistical matters. One, if you would like to speak, come up to a microphone. People at the table push your speak button before you start and then turn it off when you are done because there are only three microphones that can be on at once.

If you make comments, please identify yourself by your name and affiliation. There is going to be a transcript and we would like to not have anonymous contributions. Regarding lunchtime, there are a lot of people and we want to move people through quickly. There are going to be four lines for the buffet lunch. It will be easier than getting out of Houston. It is going to be in the same room where you had the coffee and bagels this morning.

I am going to ruthlessly enforce time limits because we have a lot to do and we want to have a lot of time for discussion. I have this really annoying kitchen timer and basically you want to beat the beeper if you can because it is not pretty.

Several people can't be here today. George Zodrow who wrote a paper for the conference is evacuating his family from Houston, as is John Diamond, and we are praying that that turns out not to have been necessary.

Gene Steuerle, who is one of the conference co-organizers and an editor of the volume, double-booked his daughter's wedding with the conference and somehow chose the wedding. He wrote, "My apologies for not attending the conference itself, a bit of an embarrassment as editor. Henry suggested I tell my daughter to move her wedding reception from the Charleston Aquarium to the Brookings Auditorium since live things tend to swim in circles in both venues." Gene always likes to start his presentations with a joke. I feel really honored that this is much, much better than most of his jokes.

(Laughter.)

MR. BURMAN: I would like to thank all the people who made this conference possible including Kathleen Elliott Yinug of Brookings, who is standing back there in the corner, and Anya Arax Manjarrez and Olga Popovic of the Urban Institute who organized all the logistics of the conference, which turns out to be very complicated. Troy Kravitz of IBP who manages the TPC web page is also helping out today and Janine Hoke of the American Tax Policy Institute.

I would also like to thank our co-sponsors, the American Tax Policy Institute and Tax Analysts. Rudy Penner is the president of ATPI and he would like to just make a brief comment before we start.

MR. PENNER: Well, thanks a lot, Len. We are very pleased to be able to co-sponsor this conference. I should give gratitude to our own funders who are the tax section of the ABA, the College of Tax Councils and a large number of life members. If any of you would like to become life members, we would welcome you with open arms. Thank you.

MR. BURMAN: And finally I would like to thank our presenters and commentators. I realize we don't have a little binder with all of their short one-paragraph bios. All of these people are so well known to this group, you probably remember what was in their bio the last time you saw them. Given the time constraints, I am not going to start with effusive introductions even though they would be warranted in every single case.

Joel Slemrod from the University of Michigan is going to start off.

Note: This transcript is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).