Gene Steuerle

Eugene Steuerle is Richard B. Fisher chair and Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, and a columnist under the title The Government We Deserve. Among past positions, he has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Analysis (1987-1989), President of the National Tax Association (2001-2002), chair of the 1999 Technical Panel advising Social Security on its methods and assumptions, Economic Coordinator and original organizer of the 1984 Treasury study that led to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, President of the National Economists Club Educational Foundation, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a columnist for the Financial Times. He is alos a co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and Act for Alexandria, a community foundation in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Steuerle is the author, co-author or co-editor of fifteen books and more than one thousand articles, briefs, and Congressional testimonies.

Combined Tax Rates and Creating a 21st Century Social Welfare Budget

By :: June 26th, 2015

In testimony yesterday before a joint hearing of two House subcommittees, I urged Congress to modernize the nation’s social welfare programs to focus on early childhood, quality teachers, more effective work subsidies, and improved neighborhoods. One way lawmakers can shift their gaze is by considering the effects of combined marginal tax rates that often rise steeply […]

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How to Pay Zero Taxes on Income of Millions of Dollars

By :: June 24th, 2015

Remember when people complained that hedge fund managers and private equity firm owners paid a lower tax rate than many workers? Or when Warren Buffett said he shouldn’t pay a lower rate than his secretary?  In those cases, investors were benefiting from low capital gains rates, but at least they paid some tax. Now, thanks […]

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One Avenue to Bipartisan Tax Reform: Simplification and Improved Tax Administration

By :: April 8th, 2015

There are many ways to restructure the tax code. Elected officials often fail to detect opportunity when they adhere in a path-dependent way to one past model of success, such the 1986 tax reform.  An alternative approach where even the acclaimed 1986 effort made at best modest progress would focus on making tax code simpler […]

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The President’s Capital Gains Proposals: An Opening for Business Tax Reform?

By :: February 6th, 2015

In his budget proposal, President Obama would raise capital gains taxes as a way to finance middle class tax relief. Along with many Republicans, he also supports tax rate cuts for business and efforts to prevent multinational corporations from avoiding U. S. taxation. This raises an intriguing possibility. Why not pay for at least some […]

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President Obama’s Middle-Class Tax Message in the State of the Union

By :: January 21st, 2015

President Obama’s tax proposals for the middle class were a key element of his State of the Union address. But they represent only relatively modest efforts to create subsidies through the tax code rather than through other departments of government. Looked at broadly, many only tinker around the edges of tax policy and count on […]

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Dave Camp’s Tax Reform Could Kill Community Foundations

By :: April 24th, 2014

House Ways and Means Committee Chair  Dave Camp deserves credit for proposing a tax reform that takes on many special interests,  something  too few other elected officials are willing to do. But one provision mistakenly threatens the survival of most community foundations without improving the tax system or strengthening the charitable community. The proposal would […]

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Why Most Tax Extenders Should Not Be Permanent

By :: April 3rd, 2014

What to do about the tax extenders—or, as my colleague Donald Marron calls them, the “tax expirers”? Restoring the current crop (most of which expired on December 31) for 10 years would add about $900 billion to the deficit. House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden […]

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A Camp-ground for Tax Reformers

By :: March 4th, 2014

By proposing a far-reaching and detailed rewrite of the Revenue Code, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) did something very few elected officials have done in recent years: He stuck out his neck and proposed radical reform. The initial press response has focused on politics and concluded that neither Republicans nor Democrats […]

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The Baucus-Hatch “Blank Slate” Approach to Tax Reform Could Be Revolutionary

By :: July 3rd, 2013

No one quite knows what exactly Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) mean when they say they will rely upon a “blank slate” as the starting point for tax reform discussions. But done carefully and with political artistry, taking advantage of their unique power, Baucus and Hatch could […]

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Can Foundation Giving Relate Better to Society’s Needs Over Time?

By :: June 18th, 2013

Charitable organizations form a vital part of America’s safety net. Ideally, foundations would be able to make greater payouts in hard economic times when needs are greatest. Unfortunately, the design of today’s excise tax on foundations undermines and in fact discourages such efficiency. Under current law, private foundations are required to pay an excise tax […]

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