Center for American Progress

: The Future of Tax Reform: Overhaul or More of the Same?
Past Event

The Future of Tax Reform: Overhaul or More of the Same?

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

The Future of Tax Reform: Overhaul or More of the Same?

The President’s Tax Reform Panel will soon issue its final report to the Treasury Department. While final details are still to be worked out, the panel has already presented blueprints for reform. Are more tax changes on the way?

Can a comprehensive overhaul be achieved, or will we see more of the same policies of the past five years? How has tax policy changed and where is it headed? What are the merits of the tax reform panel’s proposals? Does the American public have an appetite for major tax reform? Will tax reform move to the forefront of Congress’s legislative agenda, or again be relegated to the back burner?

Join us as a panel of experts grapple with these questions and more.

• Video: Panel
• Event: Transcript

Center for American Progress Documents Released in Conjunction with Event:
Five Easy Pieces Scorecard (PDF), by John Irons
Tax Complexity: By the Numbers (PDF), by John Irons and Michael Powers

President’s Tax Panel Takes on Tough Issues Tax Panel Statement 1(PDF), by John Irons
President’s Tax Panel Proposes Broad Reforms Tax Panel Statement 2(PDF), by John Irons
Progressive Framework for Social Security Reform (PDF), by Gene Sperling
Massive Estate Tax Cut Unseemly in Any Season, by Gene Sperling
U.S. Needs `Flat Tax Incentive’ to Spark Savings, by Gene Sperling
An Ugly Split Over Business Taxes (PDF), by Howard Gleckman
The Swamp Known as Tax Reform (PDF), by Howard Gleckman
The Automatic 401(k) (PDF), by William Gale, J. Mark Iwry, and Peter Orszag
Tax Reform Options in the Real World (PDF), by William Gale
A New Government Matching Program for Retirement Saving (PDF), by Esther Duflo, William Gale, Jeffrey Liebman, Peter Orszag, Emmanuel Saez
Tax Reform Is Dead, Long Live Tax Reform (PDF), by William Gale

Note: All video provided in  QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

William Gale, Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution
Howard Gleckman, Senior Correspondent, Business Week
Gene Sperling, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Ruy Teixeira, Joint Fellow, Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation
Moderated by:
John Irons, Director of Tax and Budget Policy, Center for American Progress

Friday, October 28, 2005
Program: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM


William Gale is the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy and the Deputy Director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He is also Co-Director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings. His areas of expertise include tax policy, budget and fiscal policy, public and private saving behavior and pensions. He writes a column called “Tax Break” for Tax Notes. Before joining Brookings in 1992, Gale was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers. Gale has written extensively in academic journals and popular outlets, and is Co-Editor of Rethinking Estate and Gift Taxation, Economic Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform, and Private Pensions and Public Policies .

Howard Gleckman is Senior Correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week. He covers fiscal policy, with a special emphasis on taxes. He also writes frequently on health care, Social Security, economic trends, and technology. He has been with the magazine since 1986. Prior to that, he was Washington correspondent for the Daily Bond Buyer and for Securities Week . Mr. Gleckman has a B.A. degree in political science from American University.

Gene B. Sperling is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He served in the Clinton administration as the President’s National Economic Adviser and Director of the National Economic Council. Mr. Sperling was the third person to fill the role of Chief Economic Adviser in the White House, following Robert Rubin and Laura Tyson. Mr. Sperling, who served as either National Economic Adviser or as Deputy NEC Director for all eight years, was called by Mr. Clinton “the MVP” of the economic team. As Director of the NEC, Mr. Sperling was responsible for coordinating domestic and international economic cabinet members. Mr. Sperling coordinated the President’s Social Security and debt reduction efforts, and played a key role in such initiatives as the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the technology literacy initiative. Mr. Sperling also works on a variety of economic and international issues in several capacities: he is Senior Fellow for Economic Policy and Director of the Center on Universal Education at the Council of Foreign Relations; a weekly Economic Columnist for Bloomberg News; a frequent commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, CNN, and Evening News on federal reserve policy, consumer confidence, and tax and budget issues; and a contributing writer and consultant on NBC television drama, The West Wing.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at both the Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation. He has also held positions at the Economic Policy Institute, Brookings and the Progressive Policy Institute. He is the author or co-author of five books, including The Emerging Democratic Majority and America’s Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters , and hundreds of articles, both scholarly and popular. In addition, he writes a weekly online column, “Public Opinion Watch,” and maintains a popular blog, Donkey Rising.

John S. Irons, Ph.D., is the Director of Tax and Budget Policy at The Center for American Progress, where he specializes in federal tax policy, federal budget issues, and the U.S. economy. Prior to joining the Center, he was a Senior Economic Research and Policy Analyst and Staff Economist at OMB Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting government accountability and citizen participation. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., Dr. Irons was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Economics at Amherst College. He came to Washington, D.C. in 2003 to play a more active role in economic policy analysis and advocacy. He has also worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and briefly at the Brookings Institution and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Irons’ academic publications have appeared in several journals, including the Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the Eastern Economic Journal. He is Co-Editor (with N. Ericsson) of Testing Exogeneity, published by Oxford University Press. He has authored numerous reports and articles on tax and budget policy, as well as on the economy. He has been quoted in numerous national and local print publications and has appeared on TV and radio programs commenting on various economic policy issues. He has been a guest lecturer and has presented research at many colleges and universities, including American University, Harvard University, Middlebury College, MIT, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, and others. Dr. Irons was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, as well as a Graduate Fellowship from the Harvard/MIT Research Training Group in Positive Political Economy. In addition, he has won several awards for his economics websites, including top-5 awards from The Economist magazine and Forbes. He has been an occasional “econo-blogger” at the Wall Street Journal . He has also served on the board of nonprofit institutions, including the Coalition on Human Needs. Dr. Irons holds a B.A. with High Honors in economics from Swarthmore College, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.