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Tax Reform II: Lower Rates; Eliminate Deductions

As Congress considers tax reform, the focus on the personal income tax should be to lower rates and eliminate all deductions except for a standard deduction that applies to everyone. Lower rates enough to offset the increased revenue from eliminating deductions, and set the standard deduction at a level that raises the same amount…
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Tax Reform I: Expand the IRA

As Congress turns its attention to tax reform, one desirable change would be to expand the availability of IRA accounts to more taxpayers, with higher limits, and for purposes other than retirement. I’ll follow up with more tax reform recommendations in later posts, and apologize for making my first suggestion a somewhat technical one….
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Will the Work Day Shrink to Four Hours?

Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese firm Alibaba, anticipates that in 30 years the work day will shrink to four hours. He cites the continual decline in the number of hours the average worker works as some evidence, but while average hours worked has declined, some people work 60-70 hours a week and…
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Prosperity, Not Soda Taxes, Foster Good Health

Berkeley’s soda tax is being trumpeted as a success because a new study finds that purchases of sugary soft drinks fell by 10 percent in the city from March 2015 to February 2016. Of course, soda-tax advocates claim that the penny-per-ounce excise tax, which took effect in 2015, is fully responsible for the drop….
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Trump Looks Forward to 4% GDP Growth

I take everything Donald Trump says with a grain of salt, including his claim that he believes the US can boost its GDP growth to 4% or even 5% a year. He’s quoted here saying he really believes it, but I hope it’s just more of his bluster. Why would he think GDP could…
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Interest Groups and Tax Reform

In a recent post in The Beacon, I said that President Trump’s tax reform proposal is a move in the right direction. But I find part of it very troubling: He wants to keep the mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for charitable contributions for individual taxpayers. Both of these deductions have reasonable justifications,…
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