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“Freeloader” Charge an Insult to Low-Wage Workers

September 15, 2010

What do you call parents who work at very low-wage jobs to support their families — say, a single mother raising two children and working at a nursing home, or a construction laborer trying to support his wife and children? Until recently, policymakers have called them welfare-reform success stories: people who have chosen work over welfare. Now, however, there is a risk that it is becoming fashionable to call them “freeloaders” for whom the Internal Revenue is a “sugar daddy” dispensing tax benefits.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Reality Check on the High-Income Tax Cuts

September 9, 2010

As the debate over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for families over $250,000 heats up, here are a few facts to keep in mind:

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Inequality and the High-End Bush Tax Cuts

August 25, 2010

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 30: We’ve revised some of the figures in this post. Click here for the updated numbers.

As I’ve said before, from the standpoint of economic efficiency there’s a clear-cut case for letting the Bush tax cuts for people over $250,000 expire on schedule in December. Sunsetting the high-income tax cuts makes just as much sense from the standpoint of equity. Recent data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show a stunning shift in income away from the middle class and towards the highest-income people in the country over the last three decades:

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Extending “Middle-Class” Tax Cuts Would Help Wealthy Even More

August 12, 2010

Who stands to gain the most if Congress extends the middle-class Bush tax cuts: a middle-income worker or a millionaire? The millionaire (see graph). That’s one more reason — on top of those listed here — why Congress shouldn’t add a trillion dollars in deficits and debt over the next decade by also extending the tax cuts exclusively for the richest 2 percent of families.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Senate Vote on Bush Tax Cuts an Ominous Warning

August 10, 2010

Last week, 42 senators voted for a proposal by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to permanently extend all of the Bush income tax rate cuts while cutting programs to pay for it (though they didn’t specify which ones). Supporters included all Senate Republicans except Senator George Voinovich, plus two Democrats — Senators Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln. This vote, which has received little media attention, constitutes a major warning to anyone concerned about the nation’s fiscal future and its basic priorities.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Best of Both Worlds on High-Income Tax Cuts

July 27, 2010

Even some key members of Congress who agree that President Bush’s tax cuts for people making over $250,000 are unaffordable have raised concerns that letting them expire in December would slow the already weak economy. Fortunately, Congress can boost short-term growth and help reduce long-term deficits: sunset the high-income tax cuts on schedule, re-channel the near-term revenues to far more efficient ways to generate growth and jobs, and use the long-term savings to reduce the deficit.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

The Latest on the Estate Tax

July 22, 2010

A couple of promising developments occurred on the estate tax front yesterday. The Senate soundly defeated (59-39) an effort by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to repeal the tax permanently. (It expired at the end of 2009 but is scheduled to return in much larger form next year when the 2001 tax cut expires.) And at a teleconference sponsored by United for a Fair Economy, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin called on Congress to reinstate a robust estate tax.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Better Uses for Tax-Cut Dollars

July 19, 2010

Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder makes an excellent suggestion in today’s Wall Street Journal: Congress should let the Bush tax cuts for people earning over $250,000 expire in December and use the savings to pay for jobless benefits and other programs that “put more spending into the economy than the tax hike takes out, thus creating jobs.”

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Required Reading for Tomorrow’s Senate Tax Cut Hearing

July 13, 2010

Tomorrow morning the Senate Finance Committee begins debate on what to do with the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year. Here’s some homework to prepare for this important hearing:

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Taming the Deficit? Hardly!

July 1, 2010

My colleagues and I have written repeatedly (for instance, here, here, and here) about the need for Congress to enact another round of stimulus legislation that would extend unemployment benefits and provide additional fiscal relief to states, both of which would help strengthen the fragile recovery.

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

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