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C. Eugene Steuerle

Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair
The Urban Institute

Past or current positions include deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax analysis, cofounder and codirector of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, vice president of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, president of the National Tax Association, chair of the 1999 Technical Panel advising Social Security on its methods and assumptions, president of the National Economists Club Educational Foundation, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution, columnist for Tax Notes and the Financial Times, economic coordinator and original organizer of the Treasury's 1984-1986 tax reform effort, and chair of ACTforAlexandria, a community foundation.

Awards include distinguished or outstanding alumnus awards from the University of Dayton and St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY, as well as the first Bruce Davie-Albert Davis Public Service Award from the National Tax Association in 2005. Subscribe to his regular column at http://blog.governmentwedeserve.org/.

Ph.D., Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1987-1989: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Richard B. Fisher chair and Institute Fellow

Read more in Steuerle's Institute Fellow bio


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Foundation Grantmaking over the Economic Cycle (Research Report)
Nathan Dietz, Brice McKeever, Ellen Steele, C. Eugene Steuerle

American grantmaking foundations must pay out a minimum of 5 percent of their investment assets each year for charitable purposes, and they are penalized for dropping below a five-year average rate with a higher excise tax. These rules, combined with many foundations’ tendency to simply pay out at a fairly constant rate, tend to make foundation grantmaking procyclical: payouts decline during economic downturns. This brief covers a conference discussion on whether grantmaking might productively be made more countercyclical and examines changes in foundation grantmaking between 1997 and 2010, largely based on National Center for Charitable Statistics data.

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

Who Benefits from Asset-Building Tax Subsidies? (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
C. Eugene Steuerle, Benjamin H. Harris, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caleb Quakenbush, Caroline Ratcliffe

Tax subsidies for asset building totaled $384 billion in 2013, with the vast majority going toward subsidizing homeownership and retirement saving. This factsheet summarizes distributional estimates of major tax subsidies for homeownership, retirement saving, and higher education. Low- and moderate-income households benefit very little from these subsidies. For example, about 70 percent of the mortgage interest deduction and employer-sponsored retirement plan subsidies go to the top 20 percent of tax payers while the bottom 20 percent receive less than one percent. Upper-income households, which likely require less incentive to save, may merely shift assets from unsubsidized to subsidized accounts.

Posted to Web: September 24, 2014Publication Date: September 24, 2014

Data Appendix to Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2013 (Data)
Ellen Steele, Julia Isaacs, Heather Hahn, Sara Edelstein, C. Eugene Steuerle

This appendix to Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2013 details the methodology used in our annual comprehensive analysis of trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children. It describes our selection of programs to include in our analysis, our data sources, and the methodology used to estimate the percentage of program expenditures that went to children.

Posted to Web: September 24, 2014Publication Date: September 24, 2014

Kids' Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013 (Research Report)
Heather Hahn, Julia Isaacs, Sara Edelstein, Ellen Steele, C. Eugene Steuerle

Kids’ Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013, an eighth annual report, looks comprehensively at federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Total federal expenditures on children were up from 2012, but below spending in 2010. Broader budgetary forces will continue to restrict spending on children over the next ten years, despite an overall projected growth of over $1.4 trillion in federal spending. Over the next decade, outlays on children are projected to decline from 10 to 8 percent of the federal budget.

Posted to Web: September 18, 2014Publication Date: September 18, 2014

Preliminary Estimates of the Impact of the Camp Tax Reform Plan on Charitable Giving (Research Report)
Joseph Rosenberg, C. Eugene Steuerle, Ellen Steele, Amanda Eng

This note estimates the effects of four groups of provisions from the Tax Reform Act of 2014 on individual charitable giving. The provisions of the tax reform plan, released earlier this year by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), are estimated to decrease individual giving by 7 to 14 percent.

Posted to Web: September 10, 2014Publication Date: September 10, 2014

Tax Expenditures for Asset Building in 2014 (Article/Tax Facts)
C. Eugene Steuerle, Caleb Quakenbush

Government directs a large amount of resources toward helping families build assets in the form of home equity, retirement savings, human capital, and business ownership. This Tax Fact summarizes the cost of different asset-building tax subsidies. These tax expenditures total to more than $370 billion in 2014 and are projected to grow to more than $500 billion over the next 5 years. Deductions and exclusions for homeownership and retirement savings form the majority of subsidies, with education coming in a distant third. Smaller subsidies for small business and other personal savings round out the total.

Posted to Web: August 20, 2014Publication Date: August 20, 2014

What Every Worker Needs to Know About an Unreformed Social Security System: Testimony before the Subcommittee on Social Security Committee on Ways and Means, United States House of Representatives (Testimony)
C. Eugene Steuerle

In this testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security, Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair at the Urban Institute discusses the fairness, efficiency and adequacy questions that arise almost no matter how much growth Congress maintains in Social Security. In particular he addresses three troubling aspects of an otherwise successful program: unequal justice; middle age retirement; and impact on the young.

Posted to Web: July 29, 2014Publication Date: July 29, 2014

Wealth in America: Policies to Support Mobility (Research Brief)
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caleb Quakenbush, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle

What role can policymakers play in helping families rebuild their balance sheets after the Great Recession and in helping young families, families of color, and those with less education who were falling behind even prior to it? This brief, based on a convening of nearly 25 national wealth-building experts, presents the facts and identifies four promising policy reforms: (1) providing universal children’s savings accounts; (2) reforming the mortgage interest deduction to better target incentives; (3) expanding access to retirement accounts and automatic enrollment; and (4) promoting emergency savings while addressing barriers such as asset tests in safety net programs.

Posted to Web: July 22, 2014Publication Date: July 22, 2014

Flattening Tax Incentives for Retirement Saving (Research Report)
Barbara Butrica, Benjamin H. Harris, Pamela Perun, C. Eugene Steuerle

Under current law, a large share of tax benefits for retirement saving accrues to high-income employees. We simulate the short- and long-term effect of three policy options for flattening tax incentives and increasing retirement savings for low- and middle-income workers. Our results show that reducing 401(k) contribution limits increases taxes for high-income taxpayers; expanding the saver's credit raises saving incentives and lower taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers; and replacing the exclusion for retirement saving contributions with a 25 percent refundable credit benefits primarily low- and middle-income taxpayers, and raises taxes and reduces retirement assets for high-income taxpayers.

Posted to Web: June 30, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Disparities in Wealth Accumulation and Loss from the Great Recession and Beyond (Research Report)
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle, Sisi Zhang

And here's the abstract for the published version, which can be included on it’s own landing page with the publication link under it's published title: Using over two decades of Survey of Consumer Finances data and a pseudo-panel technique, we measure the impact of the Great Recession on US family wealth relative to the counterfactual of what wealth would have been given wealth accumulation trajectories. Our synthetic cohort-level models find that the Great Recession reduced average family wealth by 28.5 percent–nearly double the magnitude of previous pre-post mean descriptive estimates and double the magnitude of any previous recession since the 1980s. The housing market was only part of the story; all major wealth components fell as a result of the Great Recession.

Posted to Web: May 01, 2014Publication Date: May 01, 2014

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