The Bleak Long-Run Outlook: US Fiscal Policy and How to Improve It

The United States is slowly but surely headed toward a federal debt crisis certain to inflict serious economic hardship on future generations. Today, the amount of federal debt held by the public stands at $14.8 trillion (all figures in this paper are in US dollars). While the US economy is expected to grow 76 percent in the next 30 years, that debt burden will, in inflation-adjusted terms, increase by over 240 percent during that time. Returning to a sustainable fiscal outlook will require hard choices and a clear understanding of both what led us to this point and the economic consequences of inaction.

Republicans Forge Ahead With Tax Reform

“The House bill and the Senate bill are not identical but are very much on the same page, according to Alex Brill, a resident fellow at AEI, a conservative think tank. Most changes will be technical in nature and carried out by the conference committee. According to Brill, reconciliation might take longer than lawmakers have predicted, but he is confident that the differences will ultimately get resolved.”

The Case for Fiscal Reform: Lessons from the Anglosphere

Federal fiscal reform in the United States is increasingly necessary but over the last two decades has remained elusive. Part of the reason for the inaction reflects different political preferences and priorities. Part of it reflects differing views about the possible economic and social effects of controlling public spending and fiscal deficits. The result is that the US federal debt continues to grow unabated, which poses an increasing threat to future generations of citizens.

Opportunities for Tax Reform: Remarks From House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)

Following his remarks, Chairman Brady joined AEI’s Alex Brill for a discussion on the potential opportunities and impacts of tax reform. Mr. Brill asked Chairman Brady about the features of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the ways in which the act would affect different individuals. Mr. Brill discussed the significance of the corporate tax rate cut and the change in standard deduction that tax reform would bring. Chairman Brady concluded by emphasizing the importance of moving to a simpler tax system.

How Much Economic Growth Can Tax Reform Deliver? Part III

I believe that the current US tax code imposes drag on US economic growth and alternatives to the current system could result in an increase in the capital stock, a boost in worker productivity, and thus an increase in wages. This positive economic result would occur slowly over time as new investment is deployed and workers adopt to new opportunities.

Relax, the Housing Market will be Fine After Tax Reform

The prospect of major tax reform that broadens the tax base and lowers tax rates has the residential housing industry in panic mode. The National Association of Realtors recently called the House tax bill “an outright assault on homeownership in America.” Separately, a study commissioned by the Realtors warns that comprehensive tax reform would result in an average drop in home values of 10%. But the reality is that the housing market will be fine if the House Republican tax plan is enacted.

A Letter to the FDA Regarding iQOS, a Less Harmful Alternative to Cigarettes

We are scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research entity. Dr. Satel is a practicing psychiatrist who has studied and researched a broad range of matters related to mental health policy and addiction, including tobacco harm reduction. Mr. Brill is an expert in public finance and health economics, with a concentration in the economic and public health implications of smoking and its alternatives. The views expressed here are ours alone and may or may not reflect the views of our colleagues.

MGA’s Alex Brill Serves as a Panelist for Cato Institute’s Capitol Hill Briefing on “Home Stretch for Major Tax Reform?”

While speaking as a panelist, Alex Brill says, “we can have a tax reform that is net positive for the overall economy. With a better system, one different from the system we have today, the size of the US economy will be larger than it otherwise would be. It will take time from the day of enactment to the day that that effect is fully realized. And during that period of time, the economy will grow faster and then it will reach this new higher level that it otherwise wouldn’t reach and we will all be better off as a result of that.”