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Economy and Taxes

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Clear nonpartisan analysis of fiscal and tax policy enables policymakers and the public to weigh competing theories on how to end the country’s economic crisis. Urban Institute researchers evaluated key components of the stimulus package and analyzed the tax proposals in the president’s budget. Warning decisionmakers about the unsustainable fiscal course ahead, our experts propose ways to control deficits and reform the entitlement programs that drive up spending. Read more.

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The Debt Ceiling Deal, the "Super Committee," and Retirement Programs

 
 
1040

Clear nonpartisan analysis of fiscal and tax policy enables policymakers and the public to weigh competing theories on how to end the country’s economic crisis. Urban Institute researchers evaluated key components of the stimulus package and analyzed the tax proposals in the president’s budget. Warning decisionmakers about the unsustainable fiscal course ahead, our experts propose ways to control deficits and reform the entitlement programs that drive up spending. Read more.

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Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 2: Financial Literacy and Asset Building Programs (Research Brief)
Sara Edelstein, Christopher Lowenstein

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why financial literacy and asset building services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Federal Tax Policy Uncertainty and State Revenue Estimates (Research Brief)
Norton Francis, Sarah Gault

April is the most important month of the year for individuals who owe federal and state income taxes and for governments that rely on income taxes as a major source of revenue. Because personal income tax receipts account for about 45 percent of federal government receipts and more than 33 percent of state tax revenue, what happens in April has a major impact on these governments’ fiscal positions and their ability to provide services through the end of the year. While the final payments are always a surprise, the past two Aprils produced even larger surprises than usual. A confluence of events in 2012 compounded the normal uncertainty in 2013 and 2014. This brief examines how timing of events like the fiscal cliff affects state budget outlooks and how state economists grapple with uncertain federal policy affecting income tax revenue.

Posted to Web: March 02, 2015Publication Date: March 02, 2015

Tax Policy and Investment by Startups and Innovative Firms (Research Report)
Joseph Rosenberg, Donald Marron

Our tax system imposes widely varying tax rates on investments in different activities, favors debt over equity, and favors pass-throughs over corporations. Targeted tax incentives can lower the cost of capital for small businesses, startups, and those that invest in intellectual property. But those advantages are weakened, and sometimes eliminated, because businesses that invest in new ideas rely more on higher-taxed equity than do firms that focus on tangible investment and because startups are often limited in their ability to use tax deductions and credits. These limits can more than offset the benefit from tax incentives.

Posted to Web: February 09, 2015Publication Date: February 09, 2015

Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children's Defense Fund (Research Report)
Linda Giannarelli, Kye Lippold, Sarah Minton, Laura Wheaton

One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. The Children’s Defense Fund contracted with the Urban Institute to estimate how much child poverty could be reduced by a comprehensive set of policies—increasing the minimum wage, providing transitional jobs, expanding subsidized housing and child care, increasing food assistance, increasing federal income tax credits, and changing how child support is counted in determining benefits. Urban Institute staff analyzed the policies using the TRIM3 microsimulation model. We estimate that the full package of policies would reduce the number of poor children by 60 percent--from 10.9 million to 4.3 million.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 30, 2015

Distributional Effects of the President's New Tax Proposals (Research Report)
Leonard E. Burman, Ngan Phung

The White House announced a package of tax proposals as part of what President Obama called “Middle Class Economics” in the State of the Union Address. This paper summarizes and discusses TPC’s distributional estimates, focusing on the distribution of all income tax cuts, the major tax cut provisions, and the largest tax increase provisions including the new fee on financial institutions. The tax cuts primarily benefit low-income single workers and working age households with children. The income tax increases primarily affect those with very high incomes and those with a substantial amount of capital assets.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 30, 2015

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