Four major policies in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will reduce the number of people in poverty in 2021 from 44 million to 28 million – shrinking the overall poverty rate from 13.7 percent to 8.7 percent. Additional $1,400 payments could further reduce poverty to between 6.4 and 6.6 percent,...

March 30, 2021
Elaine MaagKevin Werner

Because of the small share of the population currently eligible for itemized tax deductions for charitable giving, many charities have argued that a more universal charitable deduction or tax credit should exist. A more universal subsidy could (but would not necessarily) increase significantly...

March 17, 2021
C. Eugene SteuerleRobert McClellandNikhita AiriChenxi LuAravind Boddupalli

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession, as well as racial injustices and protest responses throughout 2020, have highlighted that public policies can have very different impacts on populations by race or ethnicity. Tax policies, in particular, are commonly perceived as “race neutral,”...

March 8, 2021
Aravind BoddupalliKim S. Rueben

Postsecondary education can be a critical step toward financial independence. Total college costs in California may present an extraordinary financial burden. For students with incomes under $30,000 in California, the cost of attendance at public universities (after accounting for existing grant...

March 3, 2021
Elaine MaagNikhita Airi

Pervading the history and tax laws applying to foundations is a persistent suspicion of the wealthy and of concentrated power, while the battles between foundations and Congress largely center on who has control over the uses of wealth. Foundation laws, and by extension, laws proposed or enacted...

February 8, 2021
C. Eugene SteuerleBenjamin Soskis

Workers without children living at home, called “childless” for tax purposes, are eligible for relatively small benefits from the earned income tax credit (EITC). We analyze the effect of increasing the EITC for this group and extending benefits to workers ages 19 and older, rather than...

February 4, 2021
Elaine MaagNikhita Airi

How much has the COVID-19 pandemic changed America’s fiscal future and affected President-elect Biden’s opportunity to set a new course for fiscal policy? Largely as a consequence of the pandemic, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in September projected a deficit of more than $3 trillion for...

December 30, 2020
Erald KolasiC. Eugene Steuerle

Postsecondary education can be a critical step on the path toward economic independence, but many low-income students who are independent for tax purposes face tremendous financial difficulties when trying to complete postsecondary school. Extending the Economic Security Project’s cost-of-living...

December 17, 2020
Elaine MaagNikhita AiriSandy BaumKim S. Rueben

A taxpayer’s decision to itemize deductions or to claim the standard deduction on their income tax return is often framed as a simple calculation: Claim the greater of the two so as to minimize tax liability. But in states that require taxpayers to use the same status on their state income tax...

December 2, 2020
David Weiner

This policy brief shows that the COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy responses substantially raised federal deficits, but only on a temporary basis. We project that the debt-to-GDP ratio, currently 98 percent, will rise to 190 percent in 2050 under current law, compared to a pre-COVID...

November 23, 2020
Alan J. AuerbachWilliam G. Gale