Tax reform

Each year, April 15th is a reminder of the need for tax reform. The US tax code is complex, cumbersome, and costly to American families and businesses.  It doesn’t have to be this way. Take a moment this tax season to review AEI’s research on taxes and learn how the US can embark on policies to correct our fiscal path while encouraging economic growth.


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Marriage penalties associated with the EITC were more common than marriage bonuses.

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John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul pose during a photo opportunity before the debate. 11/11/2015 | Reuters

America needs “supply-side” reform, but in ways that sync with how most economists use the term: Expanding labour supply and boosting worker productivity.

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Reducing the Social Security payroll tax for older workers would tempt many to resist retirement.

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Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas October 18, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Stone.

Following Senator Paul’s lead, Senator Cruz has released a tax reform plan that includes a substantial value added tax (VAT). If the US is to have a VAT, it should be adopted in the light of day, not snuck through as a “business tax.”

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Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio listens to a question during a campaign town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire October 14, 2015. Reuters

The revised version of the tax reform plan Senator Marco Rubio is now offering would still be a major improvement over current tax law in many respects. Unfortunately, it also makes his original plan’s biggest drawback even worse.

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles during the Boston Community Forum on Substance Abuse in Boston, Massachusetts October 1, 2015. Reuters

A trillion-dollar tax increase — even one that raises capital gains taxes — might look a whole lot smarter than a reckless, budget-busting $10 trillion tax cut when you are already $20 trillion in debt.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference to reveal his tax policy at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 28, 2015. Reuters

Donald Trump claims to be a master deal maker. His tax plan looks like he is trying to cut one with skeptical GOP voters worried he is just a moderate with a big mouth.

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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush arrives for an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, New York, September 8, 2015. Reuters

Jeb Bush will not be offering American voters a fantasy tax plan. Unfortunately, this is a detail too often worth noting when examining Republican tax ideas.

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Republican presidential candidates touting big tax-cut plans should be sobered by what’s happening in Kansas right now.

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When thinking about the proper amount and reach of a childless worker earned income tax credit program, the trade-offs between reach and costs must be balanced.

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