Tax Analysts, a nonprofit provider of tax news and analysis, hosted a roundtable on "Taxes and the Rich." A panel of economists and public policy specialists debated the question: "What should the rich pay, and why?"
The question has a political ring because tax reform is a key element in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections. During yesterday's speech in Cleveland, President Obama told his supporters that the argument over increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans is "the biggest source of gridlock in Washington today."
The current debate over tax policy often falls along two lines: "The rich are not paying their fair share and should pay higher taxes on things like capital gains" versus "The lower taxes paid by the rich enable them to invest money in the economy and create jobs for everyone else."
Three panelists that tackled the tax question included: Leonard E. Burman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Professor of Public Affairs, Maxwell School of Syracuse University; Robert Carroll, Principal, National Tax Department of Ernst & Young LLP; and Joseph Thorndike, Director of the Tax History Project and Contributing Editor, Tax Analysts.