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Research Archive

January 11, 2024

Tax Credit Nation — Politicians Are Casting New Spending As ‘Tax Cuts,’ Hiding Their True Cost

With the national debt soaring past $34 trillion, liberal politicians hoping to expand the federal leviathan face a conundrum. How can they convince Americans wary of the effects of runaway government spending—painfully evident in recent elevated inflation and interest rates—to nonetheless support even greater expenditures? As President Biden and others demonstrate, one way is to cast new…

January 10, 2024

Even Congress’s “Tax Extenders” Are About More Benefits

Congress’s long list of unfinished business for the new year includes “tax extender” legislation, which is normally considered before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays in December. The fact that this legislation has lingered into January isn’t the only oddity. In an era of already rapidly rising spending, the more troubling anomaly is much of that supposed…

November 14, 2023

The Impact of Opportunity Zones on Private Investment and Economic Activity

Abstract Place-based policies aim to stimulate economic development in disadvantaged areas with the goal of improving the well-being of residents. A provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act aimed to spur private investment in low-income areas called Opportunity Zones (OZs). We evaluate the impact of OZs on investment using data on the near-universe of…

November 13, 2023

How The IRS Discourages Boomer Charity

Americans like to call ourselves the most generous nation on earth — but charitable giving is on the decline. In 2022, it fell 3.4% (10.5% when adjusted for inflation) to fall under $500 billion. It was only the fourth such decline in 40 years. What’s more, individual giving —  distinguished from that of foundations and corporations…

October 23, 2023

A Carbon Tax to Finance Child Tax Credit Expansion

A carbon tax is considered by most economists to be the most efficient and effective way to reduce carbon emissions. However, a long-standing political challenge to a carbon tax is the perception that it would disproportionately burden low- and middle-income households relative to high-income households. Many analysts and lawmakers have proposed using carbon tax revenues…

September 26, 2023

The Gas Tax Should Not Be Eliminated

Last week, Republican Presidential candidate and former Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) released an economic plan that would eliminate the federal excise taxes on gas and diesel. Her goal is to “help families struggling with record high gas prices.” A laudable goal, but it would be poor policy. Under current law, the federal government levies a $0.184 per…

September 19, 2023

Senator Tim Scott’s New Plan to Cut Taxes

Senator and Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott (R-SC) released a new economic plan this week. The plan addresses issues such as the national debt, federal spending, trade, and the economy. The plan includes several significant tax policies. His plan focuses on cutting taxes for both individuals and businesses and argues that this would grow the economy. The…

June 8, 2023

Flawed Approach: The Working Families Tax Cut Act as a Response to Inflation

Earlier this week, Congresswomen Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Michelle Steel (R-CA), who are both members of the House Committee on Ways and Means, introduced the Working Families Tax Cut Act. The bill would temporarily increase the standard deduction by $2,000 for single filers and $4,000 for married filers in 2024 and 2025. However, this increase would phase out for…

May 23, 2023

Will Biden Cross a Line on Poverty?

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences seeks to redefine poverty. The NAS presents the effort as a matter of science: “An accurate measure of poverty is necessary to fully understand how the economy is performing across all segments of the population and to assess the effects of government policies on communities and families.” But…