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Overcoming Political Polarization: Federal Funding Of Education Is The Key, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Nov 2020

Overcoming Political Polarization: Federal Funding Of Education Is The Key, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The best way of overcoming political polarization in the US (the last two elections were both decided by fewer than 100,000 votes in WI, MI, PA (2016) and WI, AZ, GA (2020)) is to reduce disparities in education. But how can we do that?

The basic problem arises from the US system of funding K-12 education from property taxes. While the picture above refers to college education, it is K-12 education that determines both college admissions and college readiness.

Thus, the only viable solution is a federal solution. As President Nixon proposed in 1972, the United States should adopt an …


Recovery For Causing Tax Overpayment - Lyeth V. Hoey And Clark Revisited, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Oct 2020

Recovery For Causing Tax Overpayment - Lyeth V. Hoey And Clark Revisited, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Law & Economics Working Papers

The question has arisen in numerous cases as to the extent to which a settlement between arms’ length parties is dispositive in tax cases of the claims on which the settlement is based. Another issue that often arises is whether the receipt of compensation for a tax payment that was incurred because of the negligence of the payor is excluded from gross income. While those two issues were central to the proper resolution of a recent case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, McKenny v. United States, the court failed even to note one of …


A Case For Higher Corporate Tax Rates, Edward G. Fox, Zachary D. Liscow Jul 2020

A Case For Higher Corporate Tax Rates, Edward G. Fox, Zachary D. Liscow

Law & Economics Working Papers

In this report, Fox and Liscow argue that, while conventional wisdom holds that we should lower taxes on corporations because of international competition, two recent changes militate in favor of higher corporate taxes, which would close the deficit, fund social programs, and reduce inequality. First, changes in tax law have increasingly targeted the corporate tax at economic “rents,” the supersized returns that businesses receive when they enjoy advantages like market power. Because taxing rents is progressive and does little to harm economic activity, a higher rate is justified. Second, shifts in the American economy have allowed companies to earn more …


Taxes In The Time Of Coronavirus: Is It Time To Revive The Excess Profits Tax?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2020

Taxes In The Time Of Coronavirus: Is It Time To Revive The Excess Profits Tax?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

A recent NY Times headline summarizes one of the biggest economic impacts of the current pandemic: “Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever.” At a time when most American citizens and businesses suffer catastrophic economic damage from the Coronavirus Recession, some corporations such as Amazon, 3M, Gilead, and Zoom see their profits rise dramatically because of the pandemic. Given that most corporations are losing money but some are now earning excess profits due to the crisis, it is time to revive the wartime excess profits taxes that the US deployed in WW1 and WW2 to prevent the …


Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Covid-19 And Us Tax Policy: What Needs To Change?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The COVID-19 Pandemic already feels like a historical turning point akin to Word Wars I and II and the Great Depression. It may signal the end of the second period of globalization (1980-2020) and a change in the relative positions of the US and China. It could also lead in the US to significant changes in tax policy designed to bolster the social safety net which was revealed as very porous during the pandemic. In what follows I will first discuss some short-term effects of the pandemic and then some potential longer-term effects on US tax policy.


Taxation And Business: The Human Rights Dimension Of Corporate Tax Practices, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Taxation And Business: The Human Rights Dimension Of Corporate Tax Practices, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

If we want to narrow the North-South divide that threatens our world, some limits on tax competition are inevitable. The world faces a crucial choice in the 2020s. We can either continue retreating from globalization in favor of xenophobic nationalism, tariffs, immigration restrictions, and exchange controls. That road leads ultimately to war, as it did in the 1930s. Or we can revive globalization by investing in a robust social safety net, infrastructure, education, and job creation. While more needs to be done, we have made significant progress in curbing tax competition in the last decade. The key move now is …


Should Us Tax Law Be Constitutionalized? Centennial Reflections On Eisner V. Macomber (1920), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2020

Should Us Tax Law Be Constitutionalized? Centennial Reflections On Eisner V. Macomber (1920), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The US Supreme Court last decided a federal tax case on constitutional grounds in 1920, a century ago. The case was Eisner v. Macomber, and the issue was whether Congress had the power under the Sixteenth Amendment (authorizing an income tax, 1913) to include stock dividends in the tax base. The Court answered no because “income” in the Sixteenth Amendment meant “the gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined.” A stock dividend, since it did not increase the wealth of the shareholder, was not “income.” Macomber was never formally overruled, and it is sometime still cited by …


Why Study Tax History?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Feb 2020

Why Study Tax History?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

This book review addresses the question why studying tax history is helpful to tax policy makers and practitioners.