Tax Policy Center

Experts

Commentary

Even before the ruins of the World Trade Towers stop smoldering, Congressional leaders are quietly planning to revive their favorite scheme to boost the economy—a $20 billion plus cut in capital gains taxes, possibly as an add-on to minimum wage legislation. Proponents, led by Senate Minority...

September 30, 2001
Leonard E. Burman
Brief

[Contra Costa Times] Economics can sometimes go round the bend. For instance, in theory, you could avoid the drawbacks of taxes - discouraging work and saving and encouraging tax shelters - by taxing people randomly. The idea is that you can't avoid taxes if you can't anticipate them....

July 15, 2001
Leonard E. Burman
Brief

[Houston Chronicle] Why is the tax code so complicated? Because whenever politicians face important tax policy choices, they always compromise with more complexity. That way they can avoid painful trade-offs.

June 3, 2001
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

A bipartisan consensus favors public policy initiatives to expand health insurance coverage. This paper summarizes new CPS data on health insurance coverage for the nonelderly and discusses the issues involved in subsidizing health insurance. We outline a tax credit option designed to diminish...

May 21, 2001
Leonard E. BurmanAmelia Gruber
Brief

[National Public Radio (NPR)]Urban Institute Senior Fellow and former Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis, Len Burman, expounds upon the earned income tax credit (EITC) as he recounts his experiences with the confusing EITC while helping a single mother with her taxes....

April 17, 2001
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

The Department of the Treasury recently released a distribution table, which shows how income tax liabilities would change under President Bush's tax plan. This release, a positive step, represents the Administration's acknowledgment that the distribution of tax burdens is important in assessing...

March 23, 2001
Leonard E. Burman
Research report

This paper examines the evolution of marginal federal income tax rates from 1980 to 1995. Those rates fell dramatically for most taxpayers. In 1980, three-quarters of taxpayers faced statutory tax rates above 15 percent, but by 1995, less than one-quarter of taxpayers were in that situation. The...

May 24, 1998
Leonard E. BurmanWilliam G. GaleDavid Weiner
Research report

Previous theoretical analyses of the capital gains tax have suggested that investors have considerable opportunity to avoid the tax. Yet, past empirical work found little evidence of such activity. Though confirming past findings that avoidance of tax on realized capital gains is not prevalent,...

December 1, 1997
Leonard E. BurmanAlan J. Auerbach
Research report

The Congressional leadership that crafted the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 wants the tax system to be so simple that taxpayers can fill out a tax form on a postcard. Judging by some of the choices they made in the new law (with lots of help from the President), they had in mind a postcard the...

October 6, 1997
Leonard E. Burman

From TaxVox

RSS