Posts Tagged ‘Eugene Steuerle’

Should Congress Curb Donor Advised Funds?

Buried deep in House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan is a proposal to require donor-advised funds to distribute contributions within five years. The proposal would be a major change for these charitable vehicles, where funds currently can sit indefinitely. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are an easy, low-cost way for people (who […]

The Budget Deal: A Needed Time Out From Washington’s Fiscal Tantrums

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached what can only be called a temporary fiscal truce—if they can convince their congressional colleagues to accept it. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) hammered out a lowest-common-denominator deal that gives both parties two years of breathing room—and talking points. […]

Congress May Not Rewrite the Tax Code in 2013, But It Could Make It Simpler

As regular readers of Tax Vox know, I don’t believe there is much chance President Obama and Congress will agree on individual broad-based tax reform in 2013. Without a deal on how much this new tax system should raise, talking about a big rewrite is futile. However, Obama and Congress still have an opportunity to do something very […]

Can the Income Tax Fund the Government We Want?

Can the income tax fund the government we seem to want? Probably not. Will lawmakers create a revenue system that will? Not anytime soon. That was the consensus of four tax policy experts at an Urban Institute panel I moderated this afternoon. The panelists–historian Joe Thorndike, Urban Institute economist and tax reform veteran Gene Steuerle, […]

How to Cut the Charitable Deduction Without Reducing Giving

If income tax deductions are capped or limited—an idea that often comes up in the debate over both the fiscal cliff and long-run tax reform—the biggest losers could well be charities. At a time when the government role in providing a safety net may shrink, many of these groups may become increasingly important.  Yet deduction […]

How Government Limits Upward Mobility

Upward mobility has been a foundation of America’s self-image since the 18th century. If you work hard enough, nothing can stop you from getting ahead. That, at least in the minds of many Americans, is what distinguishes us from much of the rest of the world. Yet, according to my always-provocative Tax Policy Center colleague […]

Is the U.S. Tax System Fair?

These days, some people want to impose a new Buffett tax on millionaires while others are outraged that low income people pay no income taxes at all and still others want to cut taxes on “job creators.” All in the name of fairness. Is the tax code fair? Should it be? It all depends on what […]

Five Lessons from the 1986 Tax Reform Act

October 22 is the 25th anniversary of the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986. For those of us who still remember that remarkable event, it is a time to reminisce. But with tax reform back on the policy agenda, it may also be useful to consider some important lessons of  TRA 86. Here are five: […]