Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Michael J. Graetz (Columbia) delivers the annual Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law & Policy at San Diego today on Tax Reform Beyond the Headlines:
The United States has traveled a unique tax policy path, avoiding value added taxes (VATs), which have now been adopted by every OECD country and 160 countries worldwide. Moreover, many U.S. consumption tax advocates have insisted on direct personalized taxes that are unlike taxes used anywhere in the world. This article details a tax reform plan that uses revenues from a VAT to substantially reduce and reform our nation’s tax system. The plan would (1) enact a destination-based VAT; (2) use the revenue produced by this VAT to finance an income tax exemption of $100,000 of family income and to lower income tax rates on income above that amount; (3) lower the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent; and (4) protect low and-moderate-income workers from a tax increase through payroll tax credits and expanded refundable child tax credits. This revenue and distributionally neutral plan would stimulate economic growth, free more than 150 million Americans from having to file income tax returns, solve the difficult problems of international income taxation, and remove the temptation for Congress to use tax benefits as if they are solutions to the nation’s pressing social and economic problems.
Previous Richard Crawford Pugh Lectures on Tax Law & Policy:
- Anne Alstott (Yale), Child Care Reform After The Pandemic (2021)
- Rosanne Altshuler (Rutgers), The International Tax Landscape: Past, Present and Future (2020)
- Lily Batchelder (NYU), Optimal Tax Theory and Distributive Justice (2019)
- Deborah Schenk (NYU), Horizontal Equity Redux (2017)
- Michael Graetz (Columbia), Tax Reform Beyond the Headlines (2015)
- Edward Kleinbard (USC), Progressive Tax or Progressive Fiscal System? (2014)
- Stephen Shay (Harvard), Coherence in International Income Taxation (2013)
- M. Carr Ferguson (Davis Polk, New York), Simplifying the Corporate Income Tax (2011)
- Eric Solomon (Steptoe, Washington, D.C.), A Framework for Tax Reform (2010)
For more on Dick Pugh, see here.