Resolved: The United States should abolish the capital gains tax (Bibliography and Files)

Resolved: The United States should abolish the capital gains tax (Bibliography and Files)

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Background

Capital Gains Tax in the United States. This Wikipedia article provides a general overview of the history of the capital gains tax, its current rates, and the debate on both sides.  There is a bibliography at the end, but the relevant articles are linked here.

The curious beginnings of the capital gains tax preference. 

Despite the importance of the capital gains tax preference, and the controversy it often evokes, there has been relatively little serious scholarly attention paid to the historical development of this highly significant tax provision. This Article seeks to move beyond the normative and presentist concerns for or against the tax preference to recount the empirical beginnings and early twentieth-century development of this important tax law. In exploring the curious beginnings of the capital gains tax preference, this brief Article has several aims. First, its main goal is to show that the preference is not a timeless or transhistorical concept, but rather a historically contingent one—a concept that has been shaped not purely by economic logic, but rather by political compromise and social experience. Second, it uses the capital gains tax preference to shed light on broader historiographical questions about the rise and fall of different guiding principles of American political economy. Third, by examining the shifting political coalitions and constituencies behind the tax preference, it intends to show that it is not simply wealthy and elite American taxpayers and their representatives who have supported this tax law. Rather, over time, the law has had a variety of proponents, suggesting that the provision’s persistence can be explained as much by political forces and institutional inertia as by seemingly inexorable economic reasoning. Ultimately, an exploration of the beginnings and early twentieth-century development of the capital gains tax preference provides an opportunity to think about how “we are what we tax.”

 

Specific Areas

Tax bill proposes repeal of capital gains tax for patents. This simply refers to a failed effort in Congress to make it so patents can no longer be treated as a long-term capital gain.  Since long-term capital gains taxes are lower than short-term capital gains taxes, this is interesting. Similarly, debaters may wish to explore whether or not there should be capital gains taxes on patents in particular.

Keeping Obamacare’s capital gains tax would be a huge mistake.   This article argues for abolishing the increase in capital gains tax that supports Obamacare, though the author admits that it funds Medicaid.

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Six Reasons Why the Capital Gains Tax Should Be Abolished — video version

The Overwhelming Case Against Capital Gains Taxation  This quotes a number of studies that argue the capital gains tax slows growth.

Capital gains tax: An argument for repeal  This is an older (2009) article, but it outlines a comprehensive case for capital gains tax repeal.

Capital gains tax needs to be reduced or abolished This brief article explains that high capital gains taxes have reduced economic growth in Canada.

Eliminate the Capital gains tax This brief article explains that high capital gains taxes lock in current investment and reduce growth.

The right capital gains tax rate is zero The article explains that capital gains taxes represent “double taxation.”

The economic costs of capital gains taxes.   This older (2007) study makes the case for abolishing capital gains taxes  The study is old and is about Canada so we did not cut it, but it is useful to read for an understanding of the arguments.

Our bizarre system of taxing capital Abolish the capital gains tax This brief article doesn’t have any really good evidence in it but it explains some of the peculiarities of the capital gains tax.

Why capital gains taxes are unfair.This is an older (1994) article, but it explains some of the basic problems with repealing  the capital gains tax.

Everybody’s doing it: Abolish the capital gains tax. This older (2006) article contends that capital gains taxes discourage investment and entrepreneurship

The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future. This argues that reducing the capital gains tax will increase revenues because people will sell.

Capital gains taxes. This brief article argues that capital gains cannot be taxed at the same rate as wages because investment requires risk taking

Raising the capital gains tax will not lead to ‘fairness,’ but only slam U.S. job creation. This article argues that lower capital gains tax rates are associated with higher growth rates.

Five Myths About Capital Gains Taxes. This article answers common arguments against low capital gains taxes

On capital gains, Obama is no Reagan. This article argues that capital gains taxes undermine the economy and competitiveness.

Con

Taxes and income inequality. This report argues that progressive taxation is critical to reduce income inequality.

Why stopping tax reform won’t stop inequality.  This December 15, 2017 article explains why progressive income redistribution is needed to solve inequality. It also claims that growth won’t trickled down to benefit the poor.

Can taxing the rich reduce inequality? You bet it can. There are not a lot of cards in this study, but it makes the case that taxing capital gains is an important way to reduce income inequality.

How tax policy created the 1% This article argues that low capital gains tax rates cemented the rise of the 1% and protected white privilige because whites disproportionately have capital to protect.

The folly of eliminating taxes on dividends. This article is a general defense of retaining capital gains taxes.

Changes in Income Inequality Among U.S. Tax Filers between 1991 and 2006: The Role of Wages, Capital Income, and Taxes This paper makes a tentative claim that higher capital gains tax rates help redistribute wealth away from the rich.

Picketty’s global tax on wealth This article is not about capital gains taxes but it highlights the importance of increasing taxes to address inequality.

We need to tax the rich. This article is not about capital gains taxes but it highlights the importance of increasing taxes to address inequality.

Why the capital gains tax rate should be raised. This article makes a basic case for increasing the capital gains tax.

Food for thought: Paying Less is Not More. This article makes a basic case for increasing the capital gains tax.

10 reasons to eliminate the income tax break for capital gains The title is self-explanatory

How to even up wealth inequality.

Want to tackle wealth inequality: You need to go after capital gains This article references (and links to) a paper that makes the claim that increasing capital gains taxes will lower inequality.

The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation..   This recent (2017) report from the Congressional Research services discusses many of the arguments in favor of a repeal of capital gains taxes and argues it is hard to prove a substantial economic impact.

Making the Wealthy, Wall Street, and Large Corporations Pay their Fair Share (2016). This campaign position from Bernie Sanders argues that we need to have high tax rates on capital gains in order to fairly redistribute income and protect against oligarchh in the US.

Tax Expenditure of the Week: Capital Gains. This article contends that low capital gains tax rates unfairly benefit the wealthy

Stop coddling the Super Rich. This article by Warren Buffet argues that high capital gains tax rates do not reduce investment.

Tax Reform and Tax Treatment of Capital Gains (2012). This testimony concludes that the capital gains tax is important to reducing inequality and that its existence doesn’t hurt the economy.

Websites – Pro

Capital Gains @ Fraser Institute

Argument for the Abolishment of Capital Gains Download

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