Heather Boushey & Greg Leiserson

Heather Boushey is Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Greg Leiserson is Director of Tax Policy and Senior Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Recent Articles

Worsening Inequality

The Tax Act worsens inequality both in the tax changes and in the program cuts used to address the resulting deficit.

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Proponents of the 2017 Tax Act claimed that the legislation would deliver higher incomes—before taxes—for everyday Americans. There are two primary mechanisms by which this happens: Lower tax rates mean that Americans will now choose to work more hours and businesses will choose to invest more. Combined, these changes in people’s behavior would temporarily elevate the rate of economic growth. However, this is not nearly the whole story, because the direct effect of the structure of the tax cuts is to sharply increase inequality in after-tax incomes. Moreover, whether or not the tax cuts spur meaningful growth (a debatable question) once all of the direct and indirect effects are accounted for—including the need to address the resulting revenue gap in the years to come—most Americans will be worse off, and inequality will be even greater. The Congressional...