The Political Economy of a Carbon Tax: A County-By-County Investigation

This report investigates the impact of a revenue-neutral carbon tax whereby revenues raised from a $25/ton carbon tax are used to reduce the tax rate on wage income by a commensurate amount. Recognizing that such a reform is not revenue-neutral for every single taxpayer, nor even revenue-neutral in every county, we investigate the degree of spatial variation across all counties and sort results by the historical partisan preferences of those counties.

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.

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.

AEI Tax Brief: Child Tax Credit Options

Under current law, a taxpayer can claim a Child Tax Credit (CTC) of up to $1,000 for each qualified child under 17 years of age. The credit amount is dependent on the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income. If the CTC is greater than the amount of taxes owed, taxpayers may be eligible for the partially refundable Additional Child Tax Credit.

AEI Tax Brief: Repealing the Personal Exemption

Under current law, a taxpayer can claim a personal exemption for themself, his or her spouse, and each qualified dependent. The personal exemption amount for 2017 will be $4,050. The actual benefit depends on the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate and gross income. Taxpayers can also claim a standard deduction as an alternative to itemizing deductions. In 2017, the standard deduction will be $6,350 for single filers, $9,350 for head-of-household filers, and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly.

Tax Reform: Ryan-Brady Plan Is a Better Way

The Ryan-Brady tax plan lowersstatutory tax rates, maintains a progressive income tax, and dramatically reduces the marginal tax rate on new investment. The plan will simplify compliance with the tax code by increasing the number of filers choosing not to itemize deductions. The plan’s individual income tax reforms approach revenue neutrality at the end of the budget window.

Understanding Middle-Class Tax Cuts

Middle-class tax relief has widespread support across the political spectrum, but the consequences of different strategies for achieving this goal are not well understood. The analysis finds that either doubling the standard deduction or expanding the brackets for the 10 or 15 percent tax rates have quite different effects both within the middle class and across the aggregate economy.