Author Archive

Get the Fiscal House in Order

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. As policy makers search for ways to raise economic growth and improve the living standards of future generations, a major priority should be to get […]

Tax Reform: One Shining Moment or “Blah, Blah, Blah”

Given that prospects for tax reform were virtually nil before the election, the Republican recapture of the Senate has to have made prospects for tax reform better.  But I still have the strong sense that tax reform will be a tough slog in the next Congress. Let’s start on corporate side.  It is often noted […]

Income Tax Changes and Economic Growth

Policy makers and researchers have long been interested in how potential changes to the personal income tax system affect the size of the overall economy. Earlier this year, for example, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) proposed a sweeping reform to the income tax system that would reduce rates, greatly pare back subsidies in the tax code, […]

Don’t be fooled: America’s deficit is still a problem

The Congressional Budget Office recently put out new budget projections and commentators have had a series of feel-good moments about it. Debt is under control, they say. Projections of Medicare costs continue to fall, they point out. The CBO’s estimates of future interest rates, and hence interest payments, have come down as well, they echo. […]

Six Takeaways from CBO’s New Long-Term Budget Outlook

The newest Congressional Budget Office long-term budget outlook, released today, is more evidence that the long-term federal budget problem may be forgotten, but it is not gone. Here are six takeaways. 1. The size of the budget deficit today isn’t a problem, and it’s not much of a problem for the next few years either. […]

A Permanent Slowdown In Health Care Spending Growth Would Ease, But Not End, the Fiscal Problem

Rapidly growing health care costs have been a major driver of actual and projected federal budget deficits and the national debt. In recent years, the rate of growth in medical spending has slowed, leading many to ask whether a permanent decline could solve the nation’s long-term fiscal problem. Along with University of California at Berkeley […]

Dave Camp’s pitch to overhaul U.S. taxes: An impossible dream?

Unlike many previous Republican proposals to cut taxes, the Michigan congressman specifies how government would pay for them. This is critical, but it’s not pretty. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, unveiled an ambitious plan to overhaul America’s complicated tax code. This is both a technical […]

The Year in Taxes: From the Fiscal Cliff to Tax Reform Talks

The year in taxes started with the nation toppling, briefly, over the fiscal cliff. And it ended with some interesting policy proposals on tax reform though little political progress. Remember the fiscal cliff? While that crisis was resolved on New Year’s Day, it really began in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed the Economic […]

The Illogic of the McConnell Debt Limit Rule

In the aftermath of the recent government shutdown and the painful negotiations that brought the country perilously close to defaulting on government debt, policy experts are searching for a way to avoid a replay of this crisis. After all, the recent congressional agreement only delays the next potential shutdown till January 15 and lifts the […]

It’s Groundhog Day Over the Debt Ceiling

If you recently heard the news that Congress is debating the merits of raising the debt ceiling, don’t think you have time-traveled back to 2011 or to 2012. In the absence of Congressional action, and barring some extraordinary measures, the debt ceiling is set to be breached sometime in the next several weeks, and the […]