Dr. Thomas Hungerford, Senior Economist and Director, Tax and Budget Policy, Economic Policy Institute
Dr. Diane Lim, Chief Economist, The Pew Charitable TrustsThursday, January 16, 2014 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (light refreshments will be served) Wellstone conference room, 3rd floor. 1333 H St, N.W. (between 13th and 14th Streets.) Washington, DC20005
(Metro: McPherson Square Station)
Light refreshments will be served. The seminar is free, but please E-mail Melvyn Sacks at MelSacks@verizon.net for reservations.
The U.S. tax code is riddled with loopholes and special tax breaks, which seems more acceptable to the public than subsidies, though both affect the deficit. Many of these tax expenditures favor the wealthy and corporations, exacerbate economic inequality, increase the national debt, and cost the Treasury $1 trillion a year. Moreover, they are often poorly designed for achieving their desired policy goals. These tax write-offs range from a 15 percent preferential tax on “carried interest,” which substantially lowers the income tax of billionaire hedge fund managers, to the home interest deduction which costs the U.S. Treasury $70 billion a year. The latter does little in fostering home ownership, and the deduction goes mainly to higher income households.
We will discuss the problems with the present tax code, proposals for reform in light of fostering economic growth and reducing inequality, and what is politically achievable.