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Tax Policy

Follow-Up: The Darwin Economy

October 31, 2011
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Robert H. Frank spoke at New America last Thursday about the guiding principles of his book, The Darwin Economy, and the policy proposals that stem from his model of economic thought. Reid Cramer started the event off connecting Frank’s ideas to recent trends: tax policy is at the forefront of recent political debates and the Occupy Wall Street movement is focusing attention on rampant economic inequality.

The Benefits for the U.S. Economy of a Temporary Tax Reduction on the Repatriation of Foreign Subsidiary Earnings

  • By Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Ph.D.; Kenneth Serwin, Ph.D.; Eric Drabkin, Ph.D.
October 13, 2011

U.S. multinational companies (“MNCs”) currently hold an estimated $1.4 trillion in foreign earnings overseas, an amount that has been growing and will continue to grow without a change in the current corporate tax structure. In this paper, we assess the effects of a one-time reduction in the tax rate applied to the repatriation of foreign subsidiary earnings on spending, output and employment in the U.S. economy.


Supercommittee Needs to Go Bigger

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
September 7, 2011 |

With the president’s highly touted jobs speech this week, national attention is about to pivot from deficits and debt — where the focus has been for much of the summer — to jobs and how to boost the struggling economic recovery. 

What's Next for California?

August 26, 2011

The Golden State not only faces unprecedented demographic and economic changes, but does so with a governance system that is fundamentally broken, and arguably incapable of implementing the policy reforms that are so clearly needed. Recognizing this, the New America Foundation joined the What's Next California coalition to convene a deliberative poll with a scientifically selected random sample of California's registered voters.

Drawing a AAA-Road Map for Post-Downgrade America

  • By
  • Marc Goldwein,
  • New America Foundation
August 11, 2011 |

The S&P downgrade late Friday afternoon in Washington kicked off the most anxious and frenetic week in world markets since the Great Recession ended. The rating agency's observation that U.S. politics was broken might have seemed like old news to voters, but to outsiders it was a stunning confirmation that the recovery is all but over and Washington has no clue how to get it back on track. But the panic over the downgrade and subsequent sell-off has glossed over what exactly our AA+ means for the economy, our prospects, and the road back to a sterling rating.

Devil’s Advocate

  • By
  • Megan McArdle,
  • New America Foundation
August 9, 2011 |

If you had known Austan Goolsbee way back when, you might not have expected him to ever chair President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Even now, at 41, he still looks more like one of his M.B.A. students than like a professor.

Obama’s Era of Decline

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
August 8, 2011 |

The decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade America's credit rating marks the clearest sign yet that we have entered a new era in American politics.

In retrospect, the dominant political reality of the Clinton years was the culture war, a struggle over what kind of nation America would be once being anticommunist ceased being a meaningful national identity. Politics in the Bush years was dominated by the "war on terror," the right's effort to reenact the Cold War struggle and the left's recovery of its own antiwar tradition in response.

S&P Rating: How to Get Back to AAA

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
August 8, 2011 |

Oh, AAA credit rating -- we never knew how much we loved you until we lost you. Just one more chance, please!

It's like a bad breakup. The warning signs were there. He starts to nitpick and then complain so much more than when the romance began. Remember when you could do no wrong?

He went along when you demanded all the luxuries in life even though you couldn't afford them. What's a few overextended credit cards when you are having a good time?

And then, he started issuing those self-important warnings? Who does he think he is?

With Downgrade, Now Can We Get Serious About Debt?

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
August 6, 2011 |

You can't say we didn't have a heads up. Just a few weeks ago, S&P said:

"We may lower the long-term rating on the U.S. by one or more notches into the 'AA' category in the next three months, if we conclude that Congress and the Administration have not achieved a credible solution to the rising U.S. government debt burden and are not likely to achieve one in the foreseeable future."

Government Spending Through the Tax Code Is Invisible and Regressive

August 3, 2011

Congress uses the tax code to promote a broad range of policy objectives. Rather than directly spend government revenue on policy programs—or implement new regulation—Congress has enacted a series of tax provisions that effectively subsidize certain politically and socially desirable activities.

These “tax expenditures” take the form of deductions, exemptions, or credits to taxpayers who engage in the targeted activity. From a budgeting perspective, they are treated as foregone government revenue, rather than increased government expenditure.

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