Taxes

Wealth, Inheritance and the Estate Tax

It is commonly assumed that inheritances are a major source of wealth inequality and that the offspring of wealthy families tend to be as rich as their parents due to bequests.  This perception is one…

The Alternative Minimum Tax Threatens Middle-Income Families

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) enacted in 1978 was intended to tax the small number of wealthy individuals who, in any given year, legally owe no personal income tax due to the many exemptions allo…

We All Pay for the Estate Tax

Congress is debating repeal of the estate tax — again. The 2001 tax cuts included a gradual phase-out and full repeal of the estate tax in 2010. But due to the sunset provision imposed by federal budg…

Taxing the Elderly

The Social Security benefits tax - while nominally a tax on Social Security benefits - is really a tax on other retirement income like pensions or personal savings. And it inflicts some of the highest…

Would You Benefit from a Roth IRA?

Millions of Americans are saving for retirement in 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). These tax-deferred accounts allow people to invest pretax dollars, but require them to pay taxes o…

Grading the President's Tax Reform Panel's Plan

The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform was guided by two outstanding economists, Edward Lazear and James Poterba, and an equally impressive former IRS commissioner, Charles Rossotti. The…

The Flat Tax: Improving on a Good Idea

Steve Forbes has done a commendable job spelling out why America's tax system must be simplified. Scrap the mind-numbingly complex, loophole-filled, savings-averse code, advises the editor-in-chief of…

Tax and Social Security Reform: Thinking Outside the Box

This study examines the effects of fundamental tax reform as well as combining tax reform with fundamental Social Security reform.