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Fairness in Tax Policy: Testimony Before Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, House Appropriations Committee

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Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Leonard E. Burman

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Banking and finance (Taxation and tax policy)

Keywords: Economy; Income and Wealth Distribution; Tax Policy; Tax Distribution and Economic Trends

Type: Report


In this testimony, Burman summarizes the trends in inequality, examines the role the federal tax system has played in mitigating inequality, and discusses the effect of the tax cuts enacted since 2001. He concludes that while the income tax system provides one mechanism of redistributing the gains of our dynamic free-market economy more equitably, the immediate benefits of the recent tax cuts have accrued disproportionately to those with very high incomes and have undermined tax progressivity. Without knowing how they will be financed, it is impossible to determine how these tax cuts will ultimately affect the distribution of economic burdens in the United States.