Workers & Economic Inequality

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Don’t think you can fool the IRS

PoliticoPro cites TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard in a recent story on the ongoing IRS "scandal" over audit rates.


“What’s happening over the years is that the IRS has relied more on systems and less on traditional audits so the audit effort can be focused on places where there are real issues,” said Edward Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and former chief of staff at the Joint Committee on Taxation. “The IRS has been significantly underfunded relative to the number of burdens placed on it.”

Read more here.

Tags: tax system, tax reform, tax policy, irs audits, irs, edward kleinbard, economic policy

Stress and the Citi

In Reuters, TCF fellow Charles Morris writes an opinion piece on Citigroup's failed review by the Federal Reserve.


While acknowledging Citi’s stronger capital position, the Fed stated that the rejection was based on “qualitative” weaknesses, including the bank’s “[in]ability to develop scenarios … that adequately reflect and stress its full range of business activities and exposures.” The bank will eventually be handed a detailed bill of particulars, perhaps in a week or so.

Read the full article here.

Tags: the fed, reuters, federal reserve, citigroup, charles morris, big banks, bailout

Explainer: How economic “rents” affect inequality

At CBS MoneyWatch, TCF fellow Mark Thoma provides an "explainer" for economic rents.


Economist Thomas Piketty's book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," highlights the dangers of an economy dominated by inherited wealth -- an economy in which birth is more important than effort and ability. He provides evidence that the U.S. is headed in this direction -- toward what he calls "patrimonial capitalism" -- and Piketty recommends taking measures such as imposing high wealth and inheritance taxes to offset the accumulation of wealth that appears inherent to capitalist systems.

Read Thoma's entire piece here.

Tags: thomas piketty, rising inequality, moneywatch, mark thoma, economic rents, economic policy, cbs news, capitalism, capital in the twenty-first century

Today in corporate tax avoidance: Caterpillar’s ‘pink elephant’

TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard is quoted in an LA Times story on corporate taxes.


Levin's previous investigations have shown that scams like this, in which income is arbitrarily designated as offshore to avoid U.S. taxes, are common. Estimates of what USC tax expert Edward Kleinbard terms "stateless income" earned by U.S. multinational corporations but untaxed, run as high as $1.7 trillion.

Read the article here.

‘Rentiers’ are at root of 1 percent

TCF fellow Charles Morris discusses the root of the one percent in a new article at Reuters.


The American public is catching on that almost all the benefits from the still-fragile U.S. recovery have gone to the top 1 percent of earners. One sign is that “inequality” has suddenly become a fighting word. Legendary venture capitalist Tom Perkins recently denounced the “demonization” of the rich — and was quickly forced to apologize for comparing it to Kristallnacht.

Read the full article here.

Tags: reuters, rentiers, one percent, merrill lynch, fiscal crisis, federal reserve, economic collapse, charles morris, big banks

Putting the “U” in U.S.

April 4, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Michael Cassidy TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality, Economic Policy

As a way of organizing an economy, capitalism has many desirable attributes. But its distinguishing feature is, well, capital. Blogger Michael Cassidy explains the exceptions to a functional capitalist system in this post.

Tags: piketty, one percent, inequality, income distribution, gini coefficient, emmanuel saez, economics, economic policy, economic inequality


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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