Taxes: Fooling Ourselves and Fooling the Voters

May 17, 2012
Capitol Visitors Center, SVC 201-00

Event Speakers

Antony Davies

Senior Affiliated Scholar

Please join Prof. Antony Davies and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University  as we begin to shine light on the gimmicks and phantoms of the tax code.

 The tax code is complicated, making it difficult for all but a few to understand the impact it has on our day-to-day lives. While most taxes are enacted for innocent reasons such as raising funds for a devastated community after a natural disaster, these taxes and others have unintended consequences that fool voters and create a more shrouded tax system. Furthermore, Congress constantly deals with phantom assumptions about the tax code, which lead it to pass taxes that do not achieve their desired goal. These issues will be addressed by Prof. Antony Davies, Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University, who will answer important questions such as:


  • Are temporary taxes truly temporary?
  • How do withholdings in taxes affect voters’ thinking about their money?
  • When figuring out who paid what, which are better; marginal or average tax rates?
  • How accurate are CBO projections with the assumptions they are given by Congress?
  • How much does the Federal revenue change in relation to GDP when taxes are high or low?
  • What happens to tax revenue per capita as taxes rise and fall?
  • Can the government control who pays taxes? 

This event is free and open to all congressional and federal agency staff. This event is not open to the general public. Food will be provided. Due to space constraints, please no interns. For any questions, please contact Jonathan Barrett at or (703) 993-7729.