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Raising Revenue by Limiting Tax Expenditures

Martin Feldstein

Chapter in NBER book Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 29 (2015), Jeffrey R. Brown, editor (p. 1 - 11)
Conference held September 18, 2014
Published in December 2015 by University of Chicago Press
© 2015 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in The Tax Policy and the Economy Series

The prospect of very large future deficits and a rapidly increasing national debt is an important fiscal challenge for the U.S. Limiting those deficits and therefore the growth of the national debt requires slowing the growth of the retirement and health programs. Additional tax revenue could contribute to that process. Limiting tax expenditures would raise revenue without increasing marginal tax rates. It would also be equivalent to reducing government spending now done as subsidies through the tax code for a wide range of household spending and income. An effective way of limiting tax expenditures would be a cap on the total tax reduction in tax liabilities that each individual can achieve by the use of deductions and exclusions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1086/683363

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w20672, Raising Revenue by Limiting Tax Expenditures, Martin S. Feldstein
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