Howard Gleckman

Howard Gleckman is a Resident Fellow at the Urban Institute and editor of TaxVox. He is author of “Caring for Our Parents,” (St. Martin’s Press), a book on how we deliver and finance long-term care to seniors and adults with disabilities. He was formerly senior correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week, a Media Fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Twitter: @howard_gleckman

Clinton's Caregiver Credit Adds To Her List of Tax Breaks, Sharpens Her Contrast With The GOP

By :: November 23rd, 2015

The contrast couldn’t be more stark, and it seems to be getting stronger. The likely Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, would aggressively use the tax code to achieve social and economic goals, cut taxes on many middle-income people, and raise taxes on high-income households. Every Republican presidential hopeful would eliminate most existing tax subsidies, lower […]

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Would Two Year Budgeting Help Break the Fiscal Impasse?

By :: November 19th, 2015

Enormously frustrated with what everyone agrees is a largely failed budget process, thoughtful members of Congress are looking for reforms that could get fiscal policy back on track. Yesterday, the House Budget Committee held a hearing on two-year budgeting, an idea that has been tried in some states and discussed for years on Capitol Hill. […]

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Could We Get the Tax Code Down to Three Pages? Why Would We Want To?

By :: November 12th, 2015

Republican presidential candidates say they want to slash the tax code. It is too big, too complicated, and too laden with provisions to help special interests. They are right. But in today’s world, cutting the statute to a few pages would only result in ceding massive new authority to the Treasury Department and, gasp, the […]

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The GOP Debate: Squabbles Over Refundable Credits, Deductions, and Conservatisim

By :: November 11th, 2015

Last night’s GOP presidential debates (here’s a transcript of the main event) highlighted some important tax policy contrasts among the candidates. One thought refundable credits are conservative economic policy while another did not.  Nearly all would preserve deductions for mortgage interest and charitable gifts but one would ditch them. One worried about what his rivals’ […]

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Tax Reform Is Possible, But It Won’t be Easy

By :: November 4th, 2015

At a Tax Policy Center conference on tax reform yesterday, Jason Furman, the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, said that a major rewrite of the tax code would make little progress until Congress breaks the current impasse over the  treatment of pass-throughs– firms such as partnerships and S corporations whose owners pay […]

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Would Speaker Ryan Boost the Chances for Tax Reform? Not Until 2018

By :: October 29th, 2015

Paul Ryan has been an enthusiastic supporter of tax reform for years. Will his elevation to House Speaker make reform more likely? Perhaps, but not any time soon. Reform efforts got two big boosts this week. The first was the GOPs decision to choose Ryan to lead the House. The second was outgoing Speaker John […]

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Gimmicks Galore Litter the Boehner/Obama Budget Deal

By :: October 27th, 2015

There is a lot less than meets the eye to the budget deal agreed to last night by outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and the White House. The plan’s proposed new spending is real enough, but many of the spending reductions or new    revenues in the plan are wishful thinking at best. Overall, the agreement […]

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Little Difference Between the Cadillac Tax and a Cap on the Tax Exclusion for Employer Health Plans

By :: October 22nd, 2015

In the face of widespread criticism of the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health insurance plans (the Cadillac Tax), some lawmakers have backed an alternative: a cap on the current tax exclusion for employer contributions to health insurance. To learn how the two ideas would differ, my colleagues at the Tax […]

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Presidential Candidates, “Free Stuff,” and Pixie Dust

By :: October 20th, 2015

Even in its early stages, the 2016 presidential race looks like it will be remembered for two depressing superlatives. The candidates will spend more money than ever before, and they will promise more costly give-aways than any politicians in history. We’ll save the campaign finance story for another day. Instead, let’s focus on the promises. With […]

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The Debt Limit: Here We Go Again

By :: October 15th, 2015

In less than a month—and in perhaps as little as 18 days– the federal government will be unable to pay its bills. Realistically, there is only one way to avoid such a fiscal mess: Congress must raise the federal debt limit so Treasury can borrow more money. But how will that happen? On one hand, […]

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