Randall Holcombe Archive

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America .
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Tax Reform III: Tax Employer Health Care Benefits; Offer a Tax Credit to Health Insurance Purchasers



In an earlier blog post I suggested eliminating all personal tax deductions, with a possible exception related to health care. One of the well-publicized problems with the American health care system is that employer-provided health insurance is not taxed, pushing us to a system in which people get health insurance from their employers. A...
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Tax Reform II: Lower Rates; Eliminate Deductions



As Congress considers tax reform, the focus on the personal income tax should be to lower rates and eliminate all deductions except for a standard deduction that applies to everyone. Lower rates enough to offset the increased revenue from eliminating deductions, and set the standard deduction at a level that raises the same amount...
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Tax Reform I: Expand the IRA



As Congress turns its attention to tax reform, one desirable change would be to expand the availability of IRA accounts to more taxpayers, with higher limits, and for purposes other than retirement. I’ll follow up with more tax reform recommendations in later posts, and apologize for making my first suggestion a somewhat technical one....
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Checks and Balances: Assessing Trump’s First 200 Days



President Donald Trump’s administration has passed the 200 day mark, a milestone that might make it reasonable to look at what he’s accomplished after making big promises in his campaign. No Obamacare repeal. No tax reform. No NAFTA repeal. No wall. No immigration reform (although he did issue some executive orders that were partially...
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Is Jeff Sessions Still Attorney General?



A few weeks ago I was hopeful that Jeff Sessions was on his way out as Attorney General, because President Trump didn’t like his recusing himself on the Russia investigation or the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. But that has nothing to do with my hopes for a short tenure for the attorney...
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Will the Workday Shrink to Four Hours?



Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese firm Alibaba, anticipates that in 30 years the workday will shrink to four hours. He cites as evidence the continual decline in the number of works hours of the average worker. But while average hours worked has declined, some people work 60 to 70 hours a week...
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TSA Treatment of Gun-Toting Travelers



What happens if the TSA catches someone with a firearm at one of their checkpoints? It happens a lot. Last year the TSA found 3,391 guns in carry-ons at checkpoints. This happened to a friend of mine this week. Here’s what he told me. He and his wife were going through the TSA checkpoint...
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Trump Looks Forward to 4% GDP Growth



I take everything Donald Trump says with a grain of salt, including his claim that he believes the US can boost its GDP growth to 4% or even 5% a year. He’s quoted here saying he really believes it, but I hope it’s just more of his bluster. Why would he think GDP could...
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Interest Groups and Tax Reform



In a recent post in The Beacon, I said that President Trump’s tax reform proposal is a move in the right direction. But I find part of it very troubling: He wants to keep the mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for charitable contributions for individual taxpayers. Both of these deductions have reasonable justifications,...
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Trump’s Tax Plan: A Move in the Right Direction



President Trump released an outline of changes he hopes to see in the federal income tax. If his proposal became law, we would have a better tax system than we do now. One major change would be reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 15%. The US has one of the highest...
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