Income equality and social mobility are important issues for many Americans. While many have been pessimistic about income distribution trends in recent years, arguing that the rich have gotten richer while low- and middle-incomes have been stagnating, the data reveal a more nuanced story.
This week’s charts use data from the Congressional Budget Office and Internal Revenue Service to display average estimated federal tax burdens in 2010 and EITC trends from 1975 to 2010. The data show that, contrary to popular belief, federal tax burdens are quite low—and sometimes negative—for the lowest quintiles of the income distribution. Trends in EITC spending and beneficiaries over the past four decades shed more light on the program’s growing prominence.
This week’s chart uses data from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center to update a chart on average effective federal rates. The chart compares the average effective rate at which earners in different income quintiles are taxed by the federal government using newly available numbers for 2011.
The large numbers that spill across Ex-Im balance sheets concern all US taxpayers. Although names like JP Morgan and TD Bank are listed on these records, taxpayers are ultimately responsible for these liabilities. The US government should not exploit taxpayers’ credit to funnel risk-protected assets to large private corporations. It is past time to put this cash cow for cronies out to pasture.
This week’s charts use data from the 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Tax Database to update a previous chart on corporate income tax rates among OECD countries. The data show that the United States still leads the world in high corporate income tax rates.
This week’s chart shows the average aggregate contributions that members of Congress received from agribusiness PACs in each of the last three quarters of 2013. The data are separated by members’ votes on the final bill. …
Occupational licensing stifles competition and raises prices while limiting options for consumers. More important, it hurts low-income Americans who are most in need of gainful employment. It is time for states to end these regressive practices.
To see agencies make better decisions, Congress could explicitly mandate via legislation that agencies identify the problem and outcome a regulation is designed to address. Ideally, agencies should be required to seek public comment on their analysis of the problem before they decide what solution to propose. Only when agencies act like the experts we expect them to be can the public trust them to create regulations that advance the public good.
Before approving medical drugs sold on the market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires companies to demonstrate that the drug meets basic standards of safety and effectiveness. This is a high bar to pass, and Americans expect that officials at the FDA will use sound judgment in deciding which drugs get approved, since these decisions will have profound effects on the health and well-being of the American people.