Taxing Wealth and Capital Income

Taxing the wealthy is a hot issue among Democratic candidates for president. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is proposing an annual wealth tax on the richest households, while other candidates are proposing higher taxes on incomes, estates, capital gains, and corporations. Yet, these proposals run counter to the international trend of declining tax rates on capital income and wealth. The number of European countries with a Warren-style wealth tax has fallen from 12 in 1990 to just 3 today. In a new study, Cato scholar Chris Edwards discusses why targeting wealth for higher taxation is misguided, and argues that the best approach would be a consumption-based tax system. Such a system would tax capital income but in a simpler way that does not stifle investment and economic growth. 

Why the U.S. Can’t Afford a Green New Deal

As the list of Democratic presidential candidates grows, so do their promises. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and others have all backed the Green New Deal, which promises to address climate change and inequality by providing universal health care and creating millions of jobs. However, while the GND has lots of warm and fuzzy language, the climate change-curbing veneer amounts to a Trojan horse for a bigger nationalization of the economy than seen under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Cato scholars have discussed the plan’s fatal flaws.

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2018

In the new “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors,” Cato scholar Chris Edwards examines the tax and spending decisions made by U.S. governors since 2016. Governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades. Only five governors were awarded an “A” in this latest report card — Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Paul LePage of Maine, and Greg Abbott of Texas.

 

Cato Studies

Of Special Note

Jury Nullification – Now Available for Free Download

Jury Nullification

In America today, how independent can a jury be? How much power does a jury have to not only judge a defendant’s actions, but the merits of the law? What happens when jurors decide in criminal trials not to enforce the law or not to convict a defendant if they conclude it would be unjust? This classic book, originally published 15 years ago and now available for free reading and downloading, details the power of juries, and takes readers through the doctrine of jury independence, the law, and the practical and political implications of jury nullification.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Cato Book

The Tyranny of Silence

With the tragedies in Denmark and Paris, self-censorship in the face of intimidation and the nature of free speech are at the forefront of public debate. No one knows this debate better than Flemming Rose, the editor of the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005 that set off a global firestorm. In Tyranny of Silence, published by the Cato Institute, Rose offers a deeply personal look at attempts to limit free speech in a multireligious, culturally borderless world.

Get your copy today.

DownsizingGovernment.org

DownsizingGovernment.org

This website is designed to help policymakers and the public understand where federal funds are being spent and how to reform each government department. It describes the failings of federal agencies and identifies specific programs to cut. It also discusses the systematic reasons why government programs are often obsolete, mismanaged, or otherwise dysfunctional.