Author Archive

Reforming Corporate Taxation

The Cato Institute has organized an online forum to debate pro-growth economic policy reforms. Tax Policy Center scholars Bill Gale, Donald Marron, and Eric Toder have each contributed to the discussion. The U.S. corporate tax system is broken. The current method of taxing the profits of large, publicly traded corporations was designed for an economy […]

How Political Gridlock Encourages Tax Avoidance

In July, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asked Congress to stop the current wave of corporate expatriations. The legislation is going nowhere, and Treasury and the IRS are unwilling to act on their own, though some legal experts believe they already have the authority to curb the transactions. This is just the most recent example of […]

Who Should Get the Tax Revenue from Apple’s Intellectual Property?

U.S. lawmakers are not alone in their frustration over Apple’s success at avoiding corporate income taxes by shifting reported profits to other countries. News organizations in Australia report that since 2002 Apple has paid only $193 million of Australia corporate income tax on domestic revenues of $27 billion – an income tax equal to just […]

Tax Reform’s Quiet Protectionism

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has offered a detailed and thoughtful set of proposals on international tax reform, as did former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus in November, 2013. The proposals, however, contain a new form of subtle protectionism. They quietly aim to discourage U.S.-based multinationals from making products overseas and selling them […]

How to Improve the Tax Subsidy for Home Ownership

Last week, at the request of the House Ways and Means Committee, I testified on how Congress could reform the mortgage interest deduction, a popular tax expenditure provision with a big sticker price. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the mortgage interest deduction will cost $380 billion over the next five years, making it […]

Moving to a Territorial Tax May Not Be the Windfall Multinationals Expect

House Republicans, former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and the chairs of President Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have all called for changing the way the U.S. taxes multinational corporations. The concept: Shift from a system where U.S. firms pay U.S. tax on their worldwide income to one where they’d pay […]

Not Yet Time to Break Out the Champagne

Those of us who have spent much of our careers in Federal tax policy offices have reason this week to feel vindicated. While the two political parties could not be further apart in their ideologies and their views about the proper role of government, the budget resolutions in both the Republican House and the Democratic […]

The Coming AMT Debacle

The Tax Policy Center (TPC) has estimated that going over the fiscal cliff will raise taxes on average by about $3,500 per household in tax year 2013, compared with extension of 2011 tax law. But tens of millions of Americans have a much more immediate problem. They’ll face a huge tax increase when they file […]

Obama and Romney Display Their New Clothes

After a frantic day of listening to rival briefings and addressing reporters’ questions on the new tax reform plans unveiled by President Obama and Governor Romney, an old tale stuck in my mind. It was the famous Hans Christian Anderson fable of the emperor and his new clothes. You know the story: A powerful emperor […]

Another Great Morning in the Nation’s Capital

I woke up to the headlines in today’s Washington Post – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl were walking out of the budget negotiations. The Democrats, they said, were insisting that revenue increases be part of any agreement. No revenue increases were acceptable – period. Not even the closing of […]