By and / 4.14.2016

In 2002, researchers from the Brookings Institution and the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) wrote a groundbreaking study entitled “The Price of Paying Taxes: How Tax Preparation and Refund Loan Fees Erode the Benefits of the EITC.” This report was one of the first to highlight the costly dependence of low-wage workers on national tax preparation […]

By / 3.15.2016

As Americans choose a new president in 2016, populist anger dominates the campaign. To hear Donald Trump or Senator Bernie Sanders tell it, America is either a global doormat or a sham democracy controlled by the “one percent.” These dark narratives are caricatures, but they do stem from a real dilemma: America is stuck in […]

By / 11.20.2015

With the release of the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), America now has an important—and extensive—opportunity to review the agreement’s actual terms. Critics are certain to reprise old arguments, including those that blame trade for economic disruptions whose origins often lie elsewhere. And they’ll offer newer criticisms, including the claim that TPP isn’t […]


Slate columnist Helaine Olen references a PPI report in this article on the complexity and cost of filing taxes. “According to the Progressive Policy Institute, the average recipient of the earned income tax credit loses about $400 of his or her refunds to the preparers who helped complete and submit his or her taxes. For […]

The Atlantic’s Gillian B. White wrote about the PPI’s recent report on the exploitation of low income workers by tax preparation services. The Earned Income Tax Credit program has become one of the largest national anti-poverty programs in the country, distributing about $67 billion to around 28 million low-income workers and their families. By that […]

A PPI Report by senior fellow Paul Weinstein is discussed in this article for Johns Hopkins University’s magazine. National tax preparation chains continue to exploit the working poor, many of whom spend a significant portion of a key federal anti-poverty tax credit just to pay for filing their taxes, a new study concludes. These large […]


By / 10.6.2016

I’d like to draw your attention to this extraordinary essay by President Obama in The Economist. It stands out for two reasons. First, it provides what has been sorely missing from the bizarre 2016 presidential race – a progressive roadmap for restoring America’s economic dynamism. Second, President Obama’s approach to reversing nearly two decades of slow economic […]

By / 10.4.2016

By all accounts, Donald Trump used huge real estate losses in the early 1990s to pay little or no taxes in subsequent years.  In other words, he “income-averaged” his bad years and his good years. That seems to make perfect sense to many tax experts. And the eminently reasonable Megan McCardle of Bloomberg wrote a piece […]

By / 8.24.2016

Which countries should have the right to tax the profits of US-based multinationals that operate globally? A year ago we pointed out that this seemingly arcane question had the potential to become a major point of conflict between the US and the EU. Back then we warned of the potential for an “enormous job-and-revenue grab […]