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The Case for the Buffett Rule in One Chart

September 20, 2011

This chart, based on data from the Tax Policy Center (TPC), sums up the case for the President’s proposed “Buffett Rule”: a significant group of very wealthy people pay a smaller share of their incomes in federal income and payroll taxes than large swaths of the middle class.

To Help the Economy, First Don’t Hurt It

September 7, 2011

American workers are getting a $120 billion boost in their take-home pay this year from the payroll tax cut that President Obama and Congress enacted last December. Extending that tax cut for another year is a first, essential step to help the struggling economy, as our new report explains.

New Study Claiming Repatriation Tax Holiday Would Raise, Not Cost, Revenue is Flawed

August 30, 2011

A New Democrat Network (NDN) study claims a dividend repatriation tax holiday (allowing multinational firms to return offshore earnings to the United States at a hugely discounted tax rate) would raise $8.7 billion in revenues over ten years – contrary to the Joint Committee on Taxation's (JCT) estimate that it would cost $78.7 billion over ten years – but NDN’s study rests on several flawed assumptions.

Timely Reminder of the Perils of Another Corporate Tax Holiday

August 22, 2011

Over the last decade, U.S. multinationals have dramatically reduced their American workforces while expanding their overseas workforces, the Washington Post reports today. While the federal government publishes these data in the aggregate (see graph), many individual firms don’t publicly disclose their number of U.S. versus foreign workers, and some of them are among the firms lobbying Congress for a new round of tax amnesty on their growing foreign profits.

Yes, There’s Real Money at the Top

August 18, 2011

When billionaire investor Warren Buffet recently called on policymakers to “get serious about shared sacrifice” by raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest people, some critics claimed that this wouldn’t make a serious dent in our budget problems. Nonsense.

5 Reasons Why the “Supercommittee” Must Consider Tax Increases

August 3, 2011

The congressional "supercommittee" that the debt limit deal establishes to recommend more deficit-reduction measures not only can consider revenue increases, but must consider them if it's going to produce a balanced plan. Here are five reasons why:

The Revenue Aspect of the “Chained CPI” Option for Deficit Reduction

July 8, 2011

Information from Congress’s Joint Tax Committee (JCT) appears to show that a deficit-reduction proposal that President Obama and congressional leaders are reportedly considering would have a regressive effect by raising taxes considerably more for lower-income people than for higher-income ones. But that is because the Joint Tax Committee data are based on the assumption that relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax will end, subjecting over 40 million tax filers to the AMT, something no observer expects to happen. A new analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC), based on the more realistic assumption that AMT relief will continue, shows that the proposal’s impact would be roughly the same in most income groups.

Case for Repatriation Holiday Falls Apart Under Scrutiny

July 1, 2011

The idea of giving corporations another “repatriation” tax holiday to encourage them to bring their overseas profits back to the United States might sound nice at first, but the case for it falls apart under close scrutiny.

Reforming Tax Deductions Would Improve Economic Efficiency and Raise Needed Revenue

June 29, 2011

The Wall Street Journal opposes the idea of reducing the value of itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers to help reduce deficits, but it ignores a basic reality: these deductions are economically inefficient. Reforming them would improve efficiency as well as raise much-needed revenue, so that should be front and center in deficit-reduction negotiations.

Pawlenty’s High-End Tax Cuts Dwarf Even Those of President Bush

June 15, 2011

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has analyzed the new tax plan of Tim Pawlenty. Using its data, we contrast the Pawlenty plan with President Bush’s tax cuts.

Under both plans, the benefits flow more to those at the top. The difference is that they flow even more heavily to that group under the Pawlenty plan.