Progressive Consumption Taxation: Can it Be Done? Should it Be Done?

Speaker biographies

Rosanne Altshuler is a professor of economics at Rutgers University and will become codirector of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a principal research associate at the Urban Institute in January 2009. She is also a member of the Internal Revenue Service’s Statistics of Income Advisory Panel and an international research fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation. Previously, Ms. Altshuler served as senior economist to the President’s Advisory Panel of Federal Tax Reform and as a special adviser to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Ms. Altshuler has served on the board of directors of the National Tax Association and edited the National Tax Journal from 2001 until 2006. She has taught at many universities including Columbia University, Princeton University, and New York University. Ms. Altshuler has published numerous articles on the economics of taxation in scholarly journals and books, including Tax Notes and Tax Notes International.

Alex Brill is a research fellow at AEI. Prior to joining AEI earlier this year, he served for five years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he was chief economist and senior adviser to the chairman. In this capacity, he led the staff in work on major tax, pension, trade, and health legislation and oversaw efforts to expand the analytical capability of the Joint Committee on Taxation’s revenue-estimating process. In addition to providing legislative and policy counsel to the chairman, Mr. Brill advised committee members about the effects of various tax, trade, health, and Social Security proposals and general economic trends. Prior to his work for the committee, he served on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Mr. Brill began his career in Washington as a research assistant at AEI. He has written on a variety of tax policy issues.

Leonard Burman is director of the Tax Policy Center, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, and a visiting professor at Georgetown University. His recent research has examined the individual alternative minimum tax, the changing role of taxation in social policy, and tax incentives for savings, retirement, and health insurance. Mr. Burman served as deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department for tax analysis from 1998 to 2000, and as senior analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1988 to 1997. He is the author of The Labyrinth of Capital Gains Tax Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed (Brookings Institution Press, 1999), and numerous articles, studies, and reports. He is also a regular commentator for Marketplace. Recent research has examined the individual alternative minimum tax, the changing role of taxation in social policy, and tax incentives for savings, retirement, and health insurance.

Robert Carroll is an executive in residence with American University’s School of Public Affairs, cofounder and codirector of the university’s Center for Public Finance Research, and vice president for economic policy at the Tax Foundation. Mr. Carroll is a nationally recognized tax policy expert who recently served as the U.S. Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis. He has also served as a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and a visiting scholar at the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Carroll has published numerous papers on a wide range of tax issues in the Journal of Labor Economics, National Tax Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Public Finance Review, and Tax Policy and the Economy. He has testified before the Congress on a wide range of tax issues including tax reform, the alternative minimum tax, health care, the solvency of the highway trust funds, and expiring tax provisions.

William M. Gentry is associate professor of economics at Williams College and visiting professor of law at the Columbia Law School. His research primarily focuses on the economic effects of taxation, the effects of the tax system on self-employment decisions, capital gains realizations, and equity prices. He has also studied the potential effects of fundamental tax reform. Prior to Williams College, Mr. Gentry taught at Duke University and Columbia University. His recent works include "Frictions and Tax-Motivated Hedging: An Empirical Exploration of Publicly Traded Exchangeable Securities," coauthored with David M. Schizer in the National Tax Journal; and "Dividend Taxes and Share Prices: Evidence from Real Estate Investment Trusts," coauthored with Deen Kemsley and Christopher J. Mayer in the Journal of Finance.

Bill Thomas, former chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, is a visiting scholar at AEI. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1978 to 2007, most recently representing California’s Twenty-Second Congressional District, which covered most of Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties and part of Los Angeles County. Mr. Thomas was elected chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in January 2001 and served until January 2007. He was a chief architect of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which added a new Medicare prescription drug benefit and also made critical reforms to the program. Before his election as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Thomas served as chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, where he was instrumental in passing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In 1998, he was appointed administrative chairman of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. He was also chairman of the House Administration Committee from 1995 to 2001. Before entering Congress, he was a faculty member at Bakersfield Community College and a member of the California State Assembly.

Alan D. Viard is a resident scholar at AEI. Prior to joining AEI, he was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and an assistant professor of economics at Ohio State University. He has also worked for the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the Joint Committee on Taxation. Mr. Viard has written on a wide variety of tax and budget issues.

George Yin is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He is currently a member of the Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Council. From 2003 to 2005, he served as chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. He also has been a visiting professor at New York University Law School, University of Pennsylvania , and Brigham Young University. While at the Joint Committee, Mr. Yin assisted the Congress on a number of tax bills, including the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, and the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Mr. Yin previously coordinated for the Senate Finance Committee a major project to reform and simplify the tax laws dealing with corporate-shareholder transactions, including corporate mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations. From 1994 until 1999, he was reporter to the American Law Institute's (ALI) federal tax project concerning the income taxation of private business enterprises. He has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, including the ALI, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service, and the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means.

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Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

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