Viard argues that a wealth tax in the U.S. would pose administrative and constitutional challenges. As an economic matter, such a tax would decrease savings and investment, thereby lowering the capital stock, making workers less productive, and slowing wage growth. The potential revenue that would be gained is unclear.
Batchelder and Kamin argue the United States must raise new revenue in order to reduce high levels of economic disparity, finance much-needed new services and investments, and address the nation's long-term fiscal needs. They present a range of options that would raise tax revenue and increase the progressivity of the federal tax system. Policymakers can pursue a combination of incremental changes to increase revenues through the current tax system along with new tax structures to generate new revenue.
A national debate about the strength and fairness of American capitalism is taking place against a backdrop of vast levels of income and wealth inequality, growing pessimism about the state of economic opportunity and mobility, increased market concentration in many sectors, and a precarious fiscal situation.
American capitalism is at a serious inflection point. Many Americans, including the two of us, are alarmed by enormous levels of inequality and by declining economic mobility. We are concerned that in many cases American markets are no longer the most competitive in the world. And, we worry that our country’s long-term economic strength will slowly deteriorate because of an unsustainable fiscal trajectory that leaves future generations worse off.
GLENN HUBBARD is dean emeritus of Columbia Business School. He is also the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics. Hubbard received his B.A. and B.S. degrees summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida, where he received the National Society of Professional Engineers Award. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard […]
ROBERT ZOELLICK is Senior Counselor at Brunswick Geopolitical, an advisory service of Brunswick Group, and a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Zoellick serves on the boards of Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, and Twitter, Inc., chairs the International Advisory Council […]