The Independent Institute

 
        

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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Who Are the Demanders of Local Government Services? »

Local governments produce lots of services that people value: schools, police protection, water and sewer services, and more. Who are the producers of these services accountable to, and who determines the characteristics of the services local governments provide? Ideally, the people who live in the jurisdictions of those local governments would be the people...
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Tax Reform for Investment Income »

Executive Summary The unexpected election of an at least nominally Republican president, along with Republican control of both Houses of Congress, presents a unique opportunity for the incoming Congress to make meaningful reforms to the tax system. One major problem has been the over-taxation of corporate income. Another is the under-taxation of carried interest....
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Hillary Clinton’s Exit Tax »

In the Cold War era, Eastern bloc countries prevented their citizens from leaving. The Berlin Wall was the most iconic symbol of the Eastern bloc’s no exit policy. Hillary Clinton’s proposed exit tax “on the untaxed overseas earnings of multinational companies that leave the U.S.” falls short of being a Berlin Wall for U.S....
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Trump’s Talk: Aspirations, Not Policies »

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention was a list of aspirations, without any explanation of the policies he had in mind to meet those goals. That’s not surprising, because that is the nature of political campaign rhetoric. Politicians rarely say what they plan to do. Rather, they talk about perceived problems...
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Does Pell Propel College Graduates? »

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office projected a $7.8 billion temporary surplus for the federal Pell Grant program next year—and some members of Congress can’t wait to spend it on year-round disbursements, which were eliminated in 2011 but recently revived in the Senate. (See here and here also). The concept has enjoyed bi-partisan...
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Brexit, Sexit, Texit »

Brexit In the short time since the Brits voted to exit the EU, much of the commentary I’ve read views the vote as a move toward isolationism. Regardless of the motivations of the voters, a more accurate way to look at it is that the British voted for self-government rather than government from afar....
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Which States Get the Biggest Piece of the Federal Education Funding Pie? »

Now that school is out, there’s time to do some much-needed housekeeping, including a review of states’ shares of federal education funding. Education expert Richard Innes, an analyst at Kentucky’s Bluegrass Institute, used Census data to see which states get the highest shares. Turns out, a handful of taker states should be writing thank...
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Warren Buffet’s Non Sequitur on Taxes »

Here’s an article about Warren Buffet’s well-known view that the rich should pay more in taxes. His bottom-line argument is, “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” I don’t disagree. My disagreement with Buffet is the implication that being...
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Wall Street Enabled Detroit’s Collapse? »

USA Today published a book review of Nathan Bomey’s book, Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back. I haven’t read the book (which just came out today), so my gripe isn’t with the book but with the spin USA Today is putting on it, starting with the title of the review: “How Wall Street enabled...
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