Workers & Economic Inequality

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The “Recovery” in U.S. Housing Prices

TCF fellow Daniel Alpert suggests we take a closer look at the supply constraints and mortgage interest rates in the post-financial crisis economy. He in fact suggests that the crisis may have never ended and we ought to take caution in assuming the housing market is back at stable levels.

Alpert has created a series of charts and statistics to visualize his concerns regarding exaggerated rent growth and its subsequent impact on inflation levels.

The full economic research report can be viewed here.

Tags: rent, inflation, financial crisis, economic policy

Regulators Are Making the Banking Business Boring

TCF fellow Dan Alpert weighs in on the direction he believes big banks such as RBS, Barclays, Citibank, and JPMorgan are taking in the economic sphere. He says we may have seen the end of big banks.

Alpert says,"So many of these big shareholders today are in fact money managers themselves." Which means there is less of a need for regulators."

Watch Alpert's BloombergBusiness appearance here.

Tags: financial regulation, economy, big banks

Take the Odds on Corporate Tax Reform

The corporate tax rate has needed to be addressed for years, and TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard says that the time may finally have come for policymakers to lower the current rate of 35 percent. The two hurdles to corporate tax reform are pass-through entities and figuring out what to do about the international income of U.S. multinationals.

Offering bargain corporate-tax rates to induce small- and medium-sized companies to accept tax reform might seem distasteful to some, but it’s a good deal for America. One comprehensive and sensible tax system for all businesses above a certain size should be the ultimate objective.

Read the full article by Kleinbard featured in Bloomberg View.

Tags: tax system, small business, multinationals, corporate tax reform

Hey, It Could Happen! The Optimist’s Case For Tax Reform

Among the few tax experts who claim they are hopeful to see some corporate tax reform in the near future is TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard. He says in a recent Forbes that one of the priorities for this reform includes a tolerance for losing revenue.

"Among the lessons of the many failed tax reform attempts of the last three decades are that tax reform will not come from a commission; it will not result from a bill drafted by a committee chair behind closed doors; it will not be a flat tax; it will not be a consumption tax as a replacement for the income tax; and it will not succeed through dynamic scoring. Rather, tax reform will result from the establishment of a fully bipartisan architecture for the bill at the outset."

This article can be read here.

Tags: small business, income tax, dynamic scoring, corporate tax reform, consumption tax

Is Competition to Attract Businesses Harmful?

Tactics used to generate competition and therefore economic growth are the tax cuts, rebates, and other promises by governments that draw businesses to a specific locale. Some studies have shown, however, that these tactics are only effective in getting businesses to relocate, but fall short in terms of actual financial boosts. TCF fellow Mark Thoma weighs the pros and cons that these types of incentives generate.

Proponents of lower taxes and reduced regulation generally favor this type of competition, while those who worry about the social services government is able to provide and want to maintain regulations that enhance their quality of life are generally opposed.

Read the full article from CBS Moneywatch.

Tags: tax incentives, small business, economic growth

How U.S. Corporations Use Overseas Cash in U.S. Without Paying Taxes

TCF fellow and tax expert Edward Kleinbard is cited in an article that describes the current situation of some prominent companies who have an estimated $2 trillion in cash "trapped" overseas because of U.S. tax laws. It's no secret that companies use corporate loopholes and the high levels of liquidity to maximize their profits and keep their earnings tied up in overseas accounts.

Kleinbard is still a big proponent of corporate tax reform, and he argues in a paper this month it is more feasible politically than many believe. Still, those who expect repatriation of foreign cash (should that reform ever occur) to kick off a wave of corporate spending will likely be disappointed. That is a big reason why companies didn't increase spending when the U.S. had a repatriation "holiday" in 2004, according to Willens.

Check out the full article.

Tags: tax evasion, liquidity, foreign profits, corporate tax loopholes


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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