Publications

Publications

Create a “Fiscal Switch” to Make Our Economy More Resilient Against Recessions

The federal government is on track to run a record-shattering $4 trillion budget deficit in 2020, in large part due to its aggressive fiscal response to the pandemic-induced recession. Some on the right have raised alarm about this borrowing, despite their support for budget-busting tax cut and border-control policies over the last three years. The…

Regulatory Improvement for Independent Workers: A New Vision

One of the biggest productivity advances in recent years has been the use of platforms to connect buyers and sellers at lower cost. Platforms offer less rigid contractual arrangements, expanded earnings opportunities for workers and access to essential goods and services for underserved communities. Overall, platforms generate win-win economic activity which benefits everyone.  The flexibility…

Return Free Filing Won’t Fix What’s Wrong With America’s Tax System

Because of COVID-19 Tax Day moved this year from April to July. That means the debate over the supposed panacea to the convoluted process of filing taxes – a return-free filing system (RFF) – is now making its annual appearance, albeit four months late. The return-free filing idea has been around for a longtime and…

Interactive Calculator: How Much Federal Support Do State and Local Governments Need?

Social distancing is essential to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, but it also reduces opportunities for millions of Americans to earn a wage or buy goods and services from others. As a result, state and local income and sales taxes that fund education, public safety, and other essential services are drying up. Meanwhile,…

Do-Something Congress No. 9: Reserve corporate tax cuts for the companies that deserve it

Americans are fed up seeing corporate profits soaring even as their paychecks inch upward by comparison. Companies need stronger incentives to share their prosperity with workers – something the 2017 GOP tax package should have included. Though President Donald Trump promised higher wages as one result of his corporate tax cuts, the biggest winners were…

Serving up better wages for restaurant workers: Why eliminating the tipped wage is no panacea

Restaurant workers are reputed to be among the lowest paid workers in the country. One reason restaurant workers, and servers in particular, are perceived to be so poorly paid is the fact that tips often make up a good chunk of their pay, while the hourly wage they receive from their employers is lower than…

Science-based Regulation and Innovation: The Silicone Example

In recent years, innovation has become synonymous with digital companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon. The Internet, the smartphone, and the cloud have transformed daily life and the way we do business, and artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue the process. Nevertheless, overall productivity growth remains sluggish. The reason is simple: The digital sector…

Building Middle Class Wealth with American Development Accounts

U.S. social policy traditionally has emphasized supporting income for low-income families, to the neglect of wealth-building strategies.1 While income supports are essential for covering daily expenses, upward mobility depends on saving and building personal assets, especially completing post-secondary education, purchasing a home, or creating a business.2 Moreover, inequality of wealth in America is worse than…

Tax Cuts for the Companies That Deserve It: It’s not too late to put people on par with profits.

Corporate tax cuts have long been on the wish list of American businesses, which have rightly argued that both the rates and structure of the U.S. corporate tax code hurt America’s ability to compete globally. U.S. companies are now on track to see dramatic reductions in their tax rates, thanks to the $1.5 trillion tax…

Shining a Light on Small Business Credit: Promoting a Transparent Marketplace

For many Americans, self-employment and running  a small business can be an important pathway to the middle class, yet accessing credit to start or grow a business is more difficult, and potentially even more dangerous, than most realize. While banks have historically provided the majority of small business credit in the United States, and still…
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