Raising Revenue by Limiting Tax Expenditures
Limiting tax expenditures can raise revenue without increasing marginal tax rates. Such a policy is equivalent to reducing government spending now done as subsidies through the tax code for a wide range of household spending and income. This paper explores one way of limiting tax expenditures: a cap on the total reduction in tax liabilities that each individual can achieve by the use of deductions and exclusions. The analysis describes the revenue effects and the distributional consequences of such a cap, and examines the sensitivity of these results to various design features.
The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.