Fiscal Policy


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Absence of Judgment

by James L. Paynevia Policy Review
Friday, November 1, 1996

What social workers really think about the poor

Welfare Reform: Can the States Fly Solo?

by Eloise Andersonvia Policy Review
Friday, November 1, 1996

Four welfare directors explain how their states will fight poverty

Arise, Take Up Thy Mat, and Walk

by Stephen Burgervia Policy Review
Sunday, September 1, 1996

The moral and spiritual cure for homelessness

Pro-Life Dilemma

by Frederica Mathewes-Greenvia Policy Review
Monday, July 1, 1996

Pregnancy centers and the welfare trap

Taxation and Economic Performance

via Analysis
Wednesday, May 1, 1996

Over the past two centuries, economists have debated whether or not higher rates of taxation lead to increased levels of government revenues. In the eighteenth century, Adam Smith pointed to a reduced level of revenues from substantially higher tariffs and duties on traded goods. In the twentieth century, the Laffer Curve postulated that there would be no government revenue at a taxation level of 100 percent or 0 percent. More recently, the debate focused on the tax increases of 1990 and 1993, which were designed to reduce the federal budget deficit through an increase in government revenues. In fact, the forecasted revenue generation following each tax increase fell short of the mark.

Increases in tax rates have not raised the desired additional revenues, but they have dampened economic activity. Higher tax rates tend to reduce the tax base as taxpayers have disincentives to work, produce, save, or invest. There are, however, incentives to hide, shelter, and underreport income as tax rates are raised. Thus, the economy as a whole tends to perform less well following a tax increase. Conversely, the economy tends to perform more favorably following a reduction in tax rates. In the postwar period, government revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product have averaged 19.5 percent despite marginal income tax rates as high as 92 percent and as low as 28 percent. Despite the historic record, policy makers continue to embrace the notion that an increase in marginal tax rates will raise revenues without any attendant adverse effects on economic growth, job creation, or standard of living.

Spirit of '96

by Robert Rector, Grover Norquistvia Policy Review
Wednesday, May 1, 1996

The states carry the Republican revolution forward

Why Our Tax System is Good for Government But Bad for People

by W. Kurt Hauservia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

The federal tax code does a good job of redistributing income and rewarding special interest groups. It does a lousy job of promoting economic growth. Vice Chairman of the Hoover Institution Board of Overseers W. Kurt Hauser explains why.

How to End Welfare--and Help the Working Poor

by Gary S. Beckervia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

We should stop tinkering with the welfare system and forget about the minimum wage. We already have a way to help the working poor: the earned income tax credit. An analysis by Nobel Prize–winner and Hoover fellow Gary S. Becker.

Fear Not a Tax Cut

by David Tellvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

Former Hoover media fellow David Tell examines the case against a tax cut--and refutes it. A primer for this political season.

Workfare, Not Welfare

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

The main welfare initiative of the Clinton administration has been the enlargement of the earned income tax credit program. "Mr. Clinton's support," Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro argues, "is not sufficient reason to regard the program as mistaken."


Economic Policy Working Group

The Working Group on Economic Policy brings together experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

Milton and Rose Friedman: An Uncommon Couple