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. HarrisC. Eugene SteuerleSigne-Mary McKernanCaleb QuakenbushCaroline 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. BurmanElaine MaagGeorgia IvsinJeffrey 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. BurmanElaine 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 SteuerleBenjamin H. HarrisCaleb 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 SteuerleEdward GramlichHugh HecloDemetra Smith Nightingale
Research report

Recent economic research has improved our understanding of who bears the burden of the corporate income tax. One key finding is that returns to corporate capital are substantially "supernormal," returns in excess of the "normal" riskless return to waiting. The other key result is that...

September 13, 2012
James R. Nunns