Thursday, January 16, 2020
Tax Policy Center, Should the Tax System Be Used to Reduce Wealth Inequality in the United States?:
Wealth is highly concentrated in the United States, with the top 0.1 percent of households holding an estimated 10 to 20 percent of all assets. Concerns about the effects of wealth inequality have spurred some presidential hopefuls to propose new taxes on wealth and unrealized capital gains and increases to the existing estate tax.
This policy debate raises broader issues about wealth inequality and how the tax code could reduce it. The causes, impacts on different groups, and effects of substantial wealth inequality are complex. Would higher taxes on the wealthy help fix the problems caused by wealth inequality?
Jason Furman, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, and panels of experts will consider the following questions:
- What has been the impact of wealth inequality on different groups in the United States?
- How does wealth concentration affect politics and public policy?
- Would reducing after-tax wealth affect the political power of the wealthy and social and economic divisions across groups?
- What are the pros and cons of using the tax system, instead of other government interventions, to reduce wealth inequality?
- Jason Furman (Harvard), Keynotes Address
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin (American Action Forum), Wealth Taxes and Workers
- Chye-Ching Huang (Center on Budget), How the Federal Tax Code Can Better Advance Racial Equity
- Kilolo Kijakazi (Urban Institute), Bold, Equitable Policy Solutions Are Needed to Close the Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps (slides)
- Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern), Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (slides)
- Jonathan Rothwell (Gallup), The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods: The Case of Residential Property
- Jonathan Rothwell (Gallup), If People Were Paid by Ability, Inequality Would Plummet
- Eugene Steuerle (Tax Policy Center), Congress is Supposed to Decide how the U.S. Spends Money. Soon, It Won't Be Able To. (slides)
- Eugene Steuerle (Tax Policy Center), Taxes, Government Transfers and Wealth Inequality