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  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton American Business Competitiveness Act: Good Steps Toward Business Tax Reform

    On January 13, 2016, Representative Devin Nunes (R–CA) introduced the American Business Competitiveness Act (ABC Act) to reform business taxation provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.[1] The legislation would be a large step in the right direction for the business side of the tax code, as it makes the major changes that are necessary to fix the current broken…

  • Backgrounder posted April 14, 2016 by David R. Burton, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Financial Institutions: Necessary for Prosperity

    Financial intermediaries serve a key role in the U.S. economy. They are a central reason why the U.S. economy is as productive as it is. The term financial intermediary includes depository institutions (such as banks[1] and credit unions[2]); insurance companies;[3] investment banks;[4] investment companies (such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds);[5] and venture…

  • Issue Brief posted March 10, 2016 by David R. Burton How Dodd–Frank Mandated Disclosures Harm, Rather than Protect, Investors

    Title XV of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act[1] contains three provisions requiring public companies to report in their disclosure documents with respect to conflict minerals, mine safety, and resource extraction. In addition, Dodd-Frank Title IX Section 953(b) requires disclosure of the ratio between a company’s CEO pay and the median pay of…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2016 by David R. Burton The Case for Flat Consumption Taxes

    The BTT is back in the news. A BTT, or business transfer tax, is a flat-rate consumption tax collected at the business level. Both Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul have included one in their presidential platforms. Supporters call it a business activity tax or business flat tax. Critics call it a value-added tax (VAT). They view this as undesirable because they…

  • Backgrounder posted December 21, 2015 by David R. Burton Two Little Known Tax Treaties Will Lead to Substantially More Identity Theft, Crime, Industrial Espionage, and Suppression of Political Dissidents

    Tax treaties are usually positive or benign. The Obama Administration,[1] the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),[2] and tax officials in various national governments[3] have marketed the Protocol amending the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters[4] as just another tax treaty. It is nothing of the sort. On…

  • Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Justin T. Johnson, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, James L. Gattuso, Jason Snead, Rachel Greszler, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David R. Burton, Curtis S. Dubay Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

    The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt. Heritage…

  • Issue Brief posted September 9, 2015 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton Boustany–Neal Innovation Box: Complex and Unsound Policy

    Talk in Congress of establishing an innovation box (also called a patent box) has increased in recent days. An innovation box would lower tax on income earned from certain types of intellectual property (IP). Innovation boxes exist in several countries around the world, including many major U.S. trading partners. The purpose of the boxes is to lower the tax rate on…

  • Backgrounder posted June 4, 2015 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton How Congress Should Reform Business Taxes

    Fundamental tax reform remains a top agenda item for many in Congress, especially for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R–UT). The country needs fundamental tax reform because the tax code is stifling economic freedom and preventing the economy from being vibrant and prosperous. Fundamental tax…

  • Testimony posted May 15, 2015 by David R. Burton Legislative Proposals to Enhance Capital Formation and Reduce Regulatory Burdens: Venture Exchanges

    Testimony before the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of the Committee on Financial Services United States House of Representatives May 13, 2015 David R. Burton Senior Fellow in Economic Policy The Heritage Foundation My name is David R. Burton. I am Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation. I would…

  • Backgrounder posted April 7, 2015 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton A Tax Reform Primer for the 2016 Presidential Candidates

    The 2016 presidential campaign is already well underway. As it progresses, candidates seeking the presidency will increasingly face questions about how they would address federal tax policy. Foremost among them will be how they will pursue tax reform should they become President. They will be asked whether they favor it, why, and to explain their own reform plans. There…

  • Testimony posted March 13, 2015 by David R. Burton Building an Opportunity Economy: The State of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

    Testimony before The Committee on Small Business United States House of Representatives March 4, 2015 David R. Burton Senior Fellow in Economic Policy The Heritage Foundation My name is David R. Burton. I am Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation. I would like to express my thanks to Chairman Chabot, Ranking Member Velázquez, and…

  • Backgrounder posted March 9, 2015 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton The Lee–Rubio Tax Plan’s Business Reforms Are Tremendously Pro-Growth

    The primary purpose of tax reform is to enhance economic growth by expanding the economy’s potential. Based on initial analysis, the tax reform plan recently released by Senators Mike Lee (R–UT) and Marco Rubio (R–FL) amply succeeds at this core purpose, mostly by substantially improving the tax treatment of businesses. On the individual side, the plan takes steps in the…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2015 by David R. Burton News flash — Paul Ryan denies the Earth is flat

    Over the past few weeks, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has come under attack in The New York Times, The Washington Post Wonkblog, the New Republic, U.S. News & World Report, Salon, Slate, and who knows where else for wanting congressional revenue forecasts to be based on "gimmicks," "tricks," and "voodoo," for wanting to "cook the books," for calling for "mischief" and for…

  • Backgrounder posted December 15, 2014 by David R. Burton Four Conservative Tax Plans with Equivalent Economic Results

    Over the past three decades, conservatives have proposed four different types of consumption taxes: A national sales tax, A business transfer tax, The Hall–Rabushka–Armey–Forbes flat tax, and The “new flat tax,” also known as an expenditure tax, consumed income tax, inflow-outflow tax, or cash flow tax. Few understand that, despite their…

  • Backgrounder posted June 20, 2014 by David R. Burton Reducing the Burden on Small Public Companies Would Promote Innovation, Job Creation, and Economic Growth

    The Securities Act of 1933 makes it generally illegal to sell securities unless they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).[1] The act exempts various securities and transactions from this requirement.[2] In addition, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires companies to register if they are listed on a national securities exchange[3] or if…