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

Every government health program should operate under the same budget constraint that applies to other government programs. Failure to do so represents bad budgeting and economic, social, and health policy; redistributes income in perverse ways; and makes health care...

November 6, 2020
C. Eugene Steuerle

NOTE: This is an updated version of the analysis published November 10, 2020.1

The Tax Policy Center (TPC) has analyzed the macroeconomic effects of the tax proposals that President Joe Biden advanced during his 2020 presidential campaign. We find the...

July 21, 2021
Benjamin R. PageJeffrey RohalyThornton MathesonGordon B. MerminJason DeBackerRichard Evans

Simplifying the student aid application process and making the system easier for students and families to understand and navigate has long been high on the agenda of policymakers and advocates for college access. Despite progress, the process for completing the Free Application for Federal...

October 19, 2020
Sandy BaumKim S. Rueben

NOTE: This is a corrected version of the analysis originally published October 15, 2020.

This brief updates estimates of the revenue and distributional effects of former vice president Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign tax...

November 6, 2020
Gordon B. MerminJanet HoltzblattSurachai KhitatrakunChenxi LuThornton MathesonJeffrey Rohaly

Fiscal policy was of primary importance to the white supremacist governments that came to power on a wave of electoral fraud, intimidation, and violence at the end of the Reconstruction. By the end of the 19th Century, the fiscal system, like the larger legal framework of the Jim Crow South, had...

November 4, 2020
Vanessa Williamson

The earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit (CTC) provide substantial benefits to working families with children. The EITC also provides modest benefits to workers without custodial children, often called “childless workers” for tax purposes. Together, the credits lift almost 9...

July 23, 2020
Elaine MaagRobert McClellandC. Eugene Steuerle

On November 3, 2020, Californians will vote on Proposition 15, also known as the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020. The proposition would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on their market value rather than on their purchase price. This...

July 20, 2020
Richard C. AuxierTracy GordonKim S. Rueben