Brookings Institution and Tax Policy Center
Tax increases for those at the top can achieve two aims: providing revenue resources from those that have experienced the greatest gains in income, and countering economic and social inequalities. Toward that end, policy-makers have several proposals for increasing taxes on the rich.
In recent decades, gains in national income have failed to reach many Americans due to increasing income inequality; countering such trends requires increasing the progressivity of our tax system. Proposals that seek to reduce tax avoidance and harmonize the tax treatment of different types of income are likely to raise more revenue at lower rates than more narrow proposals. Many new proposals provide a useful starting point, but they all need careful consideration in order to be ready for implementation. It is also important to remember that economic inequality is not just a “top end” problem. The tax system can also usefully help those at the bottom of the income distribution who have experienced stagnant wage growth in recent decades.
Every year, tens of thousands of youth participate in summer employment programs sponsored by cities and other local jurisdictions. What do we know about the effectiveness of these programs for improving outcomes and reducing inequality among youth?
Summer youth employment programs make it easier for youth to find jobs and, unlike year-round undertakings, they happen when youth are likely to be idle rather than competing with academic studies or extracurricular activities. While evidence of the long-term effects in education or employment is mixed, the positive impacts associated with the reduction in crime indicate that the benefits of summer jobs programs exceed the costs. Looking ahead, SYEPs can lay a strong foundation upon which additional interventions can be layered to achieve more sustained and meaningful outcomes — perhaps by providing greater linkages between summer and year-round employment programs, full-time work, community college enrollment or apprenticeships.
Decisions on government spending and taxation have a direct impact on the economy. Yet fiscal policy is inherently political.Read more
There has been a substantial decline in the share of children in the U.S. living with married parents over recent decades. Importantly, this decline has not been made up for with a rise in the share of children living with unmarried parents; rather, many more children today live with a lone parent than in the recent past. Furthermore, this decline is driven almost entirely by parents with less than a college degree, leading to wide class gaps in the rate at which children are living with two parents.
The decline in the share of children being raised by married parents raises important concerns about the trends in children’s economic well-being. In addition, the wide socioeconomic and racial/ethnic gaps in this share raise concerns about socioeconomic and racial/ethnic gaps in economic outcomes for children.