Tax Policy Center
Len Burman, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at Syracuse University's Maxwell School, is a nationally recognized tax policy and public finance expert with more than 25 years of experience in a range of academic, government, and public policy organizations. Before going to Syracuse, he was director of the Tax Policy Center, which he co-founded, and an institute fellow at the Urban Institute. Previously, he was deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a senior analyst at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C. Burman testifies frequently before congressional committees on tax and budget policy issues, appears regularly in national and regional media, and is a blogger for Forbes.com as The Impertinent Economist. His most recent book is Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know, written with Joel Slemrod. He also wrote The Labyrinth of Capital Gains Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed and co-edited Taxing Capital Income and Using Taxes to Reform Health Insurance. He is past president of the National Tax Association and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Syracuse University's Center for Policy Research. Burman earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota.
Tax Reform to Encourage Growth, Reduce the Deficit, and Promote Fairness (Testimony)
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Leonard Burman's testimony before the Senate Budget Committee on tax reform to encourage economic growth, reduce the federal deficit, and to promote fairness.
Tax Reform Options: Marginal Rates on High-Income Taxpayers, Capital Gains, and Dividends (Testimony)
|Posted to Web: March 02, 2012||Publication Date: March 01, 2012|
Leonard Burman's testimony before the Senate Committee on Finance on tax reform options affecting high-income taxpayers.
Catastrophic Budget Failure (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 14, 2011||Publication Date: September 14, 2011|
Continuation of current U.S. fiscal policy will lead to an enormous accumulation of debt with potentially disastrous economic consequences. Exacerbated by the recent economic turmoil and fueled by the willingness of creditors to lend at very low interest rates, there is signifi cant risk that necessary fi scal reform will be put off. In this paper, we consider the causes, mechanisms, and macroeconomic fallout of a catastrophic budget failure — a situation in which markets’ perception of the credit worthiness of the U.S. government rapidly deteriorates, leaving it unable to access credit markets at any reasonable rate of interest and generating a high probability of the previously unthinkable: the U.S. government defaulting on its debt obligations.
The Future of Individual Tax Rates: Effects of Economic Growth and Distribution: Leonard Burman's Testimony before the Senate Committee on Finance (Testimony)
|Posted to Web: September 01, 2010||Publication Date: September 01, 2010|
Leonard Burman's testimony before the Senate Committee on Finance on whether and how to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Countdown to Catastrophe (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: July 14, 2010||Publication Date: July 14, 2010|
This article, written for a lay audience, discusses the causes and consequences of “catastrophic budget failure.” When America’s ballooning federal debt becomes unmanageable, we might simply refuse to honor our obligations, triggering a worldwide financial collapse and an economic downtown that would make the recent unpleasantness seem like a walk in the park. Or we might create enough money to pay back our creditors, domestic and foreign, triggering a hyperinflation reminiscent of failed states like the Weimar Republic in the 1930s (or, more recently, Zimbabwe) that would wipe out the savings of anyone caught holding wealth in dollars.
The Myth of Income Tax Freeloading (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: April 26, 2010||Publication Date: April 26, 2010|
This year's tax season controversy surrounds the Tax Policy Center's estimate that 47% of households do not owe income tax. The estimate has raised concerns about equity (nearly half of families free-riding on the rest of us) and civic responsibility (can democracy work when half of voters get government for free?). It also just ticked off some people who feel they're bearing more than their fair share of the tax burden.
Health mandate: It's just a tax break in disguise (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: April 19, 2010||Publication Date: April 15, 2010|
CNNMoney.com. Len Burman discusses the health insurance mandate.
Taxes and the Budget (Testimony)
|Posted to Web: April 14, 2010||Publication Date: April 14, 2010|
Leonard Burman's testimony before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures House Ways and Means Committee on taxes and the federal budget.
Let's freeze more than chump change (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: March 23, 2010||Publication Date: March 23, 2010|
President Obama has proposed to freeze most domestic discretionary spending -- a step in the right direction, but not enough. The $250 billion in expected savings over the next decade is chump change compared with deficits that could top $10 trillion if policy doesn't change.
We need to ban the evil Santas (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: February 02, 2010||Publication Date: February 02, 2010|
The two Santas came to Washington in 2000 and threaten to never leave. If we don't send them packing, Christmas Future could be very bleak indeed.
|Posted to Web: January 18, 2010||Publication Date: December 22, 2009|
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