Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: John Witte, UW Lafollette Institute
Abstract: This talk will review the changing status of “tax expenditures” (loopholes) from 1975 to 2015 based on data from a new book by the author. It will be argued that after a brief respite produced by the 1986 Tax Reform Act, tax expenditures have again grown precipitously to the point that classical tax reform is very improbable. Part of the problem is that tax loophole growth and expansion are a policy mechanism for both political parties and both the legislative and executive branches of government. Thus, unlike an earlier suggestion by the author for reforming the tax code, he will propose that perhaps it is best now to simply accept tax expenditures as inevitable and try to establish guidelines for which should be supported and which cut back or eliminated.