George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan evaluates a recent report issued by the majority staff on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Buchanan argues that the report illustrates Republicans’ attempts to claim not only that the IRS’s mistakes are entirely unconnected to its shrinking budget, but also that the IRS is consciously trying to make matters worse.
George Washington law professor Neil Buchanan describes Republicans’ persistent technique of undercutting, then blaming, the IRS for the nation’s tax woes.
George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan discusses the debt ceiling law and explains why it must be repealed entirely.
Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf argues that modern constitutionalism supports economic libertarianism, due not only to judicial decisions but also the very structure of the Constitution. Dorf responds in part to a recent book review by Professor Suzanna Sherry, published in the March issue of the Harvard Law Review, that is highly critical of Professor Richard Epstein’s book The Classical Liberal Constitution.
George Washington law professor Neil Buchanan contends that Republicans’ use of the debt ceiling against President Obama in an attempt to achieve their policy goals could backfire and lead to an increase in taxes on the rich.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses the comments by MIT economist and Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber and the principle of the wisdom of crowds.
George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan argues that Republicans in Congress have effectively used budget issues to set a trap to impeach the President, but that they might well regret setting that trap.
George Washington University law professor and economist Neil Buchanan explains why recent events detracting from the Affordable Care Act might lead to serious consideration of a single-payer health care system. Buchanan includes in his discussion the Supreme Court’s recent decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, a careless statement by economist Jonathan Gruber, and the upcoming challenge of it before the Supreme Court, King v. Burwell.
George Washington University law professor and economist Neil Buchanan argues that anti-government ideologues deny facts in order to support their theories of the economy.
George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan argues that to effectively combat economic inequality, the government must employ both progressive taxation and progressive spending.
George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan explains how the Ebola crisis highlights the dangerous consequences of demonizing the government.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses the need for the Attorney General to appoint Special Counsel to investigate IRS misconduct. Rotunda argues that by appointing Special Counsel, the Attorney General can restore America’s faith in the nonpartisanship of the Internal Revenue Service.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda comments on the IRS monitoring of religious groups. Rotunda argues that the government agency’s actions run counter to the guarantees of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
George Washington University law professor and economist Neil Buchanan comments on the minor nationwide debate over reclining one’s seat on an airplane. Buchanan argues that one reporter’s claim that the debate is “an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem” manifests a fundamental (yet common) misunderstanding of that theorem.
University of Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry discusses the crypto-currency Bitcoin and how different authorities have come to different conclusions as to whether it is money.
George Washington University law professor and economist Neil Buchanan argues against the notion that Social Security will “go broke” before today’s workers retire. Buchanan discusses the origins of the idea—including disinformation campaigns by opponents of Social Security—and explains why the is unfounded, as long as people continue to support the program politically.
George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan explains why large numbers of people continue to believe erroneously that tax cuts result in greater tax revenues. Buchanan argues that the only real-life examples that seem to support the notion are cherry-picked and anecdotal evidence. He concludes that the claim that tax cuts are self-financing is only barely plausible as a matter of logic, and it has been disproven over and over again by both conservative and liberal economists alike.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda argues that the best way to increase revenue is to lower taxes. Rotunda explains that the current taxation structure incentivizes the wealthy to find loopholes and avoid paying taxes altogether, whereas those same corporations and individuals would be more likely to pay under lower tax rates. Rotunda also discusses the trend of corporations moving their headquarters and business centers from states with higher taxes, such as California, to states with lower taxes, and the negative impact of such moves on the origin state.
In this second of a two-part series of columns on income mobility, George Washington law professor and economist Neil Buchanan explains why we should focus on reducing economic inequality today. Buchanan warns that our focus should not be on the increased rate at which economic inequality is growing, but on its very existence. He argues that even if inequality were gradually abating on its own, as some have postulated, inactively waiting for it to do so would continue to allow millions of people to suffer the pain of poverty until that distant and hypothetical time arrives.
George Washington University law professor and economist Neil Buchanan critiques the argument that income mobility adequately addresses the issue of economic inequality. Buchanan contends that supporters of the mobility argument rely on a theory of mobility that disregards the reality of the permanent effects that poverty has on people. In a companion column next week, Buchanan will discuss where the arguments that Professor Piketty offered in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century fit into the arguments over inequality, mobility, and redistribution.