Taxing Choices: Understanding the Economics of Taxation

Jul 19, 2005Jul 22, 2005
 B-339 Rayburn House Office Building <table> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left"></td> </tr> </tbody> </table>



Session One: Tuesday, July 19
The Economics of Taxation 

Robert Lawson, Ph.D. 
Professor of Economics
Capital University

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Two: Wednesday, July 20
Evaluating Alternative Tax Systems
Robert Lawson, Ph.D. 
Professor of Economics
Capital University 

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Session Three: Thursday, July 21
Implementing Tax Reform:
The New Zealand Experience

Hon. Maurice McTigue 
Distinguished Visiting Scholar
George Mason University
Former Cabinet Minister and Member
of Parliament
New Zealand

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Session Four: Friday, July 22
To Repeal, or not to Repeal:
An Estate Tax Debate 

Steven Moore 
Member of the Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal
Former Senior Economist
Joint Economic Committee 

Max Sawicky 
Economic Policy Institute

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

With the final report of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform due in September, tax policy will no doubt return to the top of the domestic agenda. Unfortunately, no issue generates more controversy and confusion among those on Capitol Hill than what to do with our current tax system. Almost every political candidate, economist, and pundit has a different recipe for a better code, and consensus often seems impossible.

To better understand tax policy, one must begin with a firm foundation in the economics of taxation. Before one can evaluate the impact of any particular proposal, for instance, one must first understand how taxes affect the incentives of individuals and firms.

By focusing on the principles that underlie the current tax debates, this course will develop a multi-layered framework for analysis of tax policy. Participation in this program will allow you to better address the following questions:

  • What are the primary justifications for various taxes?
  • What effect do taxes have on our economy?
  • What are the economic and social trade-offs of different types of taxes and taxation systems?
  • What is meant by “fairness” in the context of tax policy? Why does this generate such confusion?  In particular, how do equity principles apply to the estate tax?