Tag Archives: tax

The Case against Subsidizing Housing Debt

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SINGAPORE (May 30, 2017)– At the end of the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, American consumer debt for the first time exceeded its previous peak (in dollars).  That peak was in the 3rd quarter of 2008, just as the global financial crisis hit.  Although car loans and student debt have been rising especially rapidly, housing debt remains more than 2/3 of the total ($8.6 trillion out of $12.7 trillion). Continue reading

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Trump’s Fiscal Brainstorm: Cut Taxes for the Rich

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(Aug. 26, 2016) This year’s US presidential election campaign differs radically from past patterns, including in the departure of the Republican nominee from many of the policy positions traditionally taken by his party.  Examples are his lack of support for international trade, military alliances, or the institution of marriage.   But when Donald Trump released some positions on tax policy recently, the differences with Hillary Clinton’s proposals fell very much along usual party lines.  His is the kind of tax policy that has long been favored by Republican presidential candidates and congressmen:  tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and that are not accompanied with any plans to pay for them. Continue reading

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Inequality: Diagnoses and Prescriptions

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(March 25, 2016) Three things are striking about the rise in economic inequality since the 1970s in the United States.  (1) It doesn’t really matter which measure of income distribution we choose; they all show a rise in inequality.  (2) There are many different competing possible explanations and interpretations.  (3) We do not need to agree on the explanation to agree on what are sensible policies to lessen inequality. Continue reading

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