Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy, Brookings institution. Contributing correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

Lots riding on Ed Dept standard for student-loan forgiveness

brookings.edu — The U.S. Department of Education is opening what could be a very large (and, for taxpayers, expensive) door to debt relief. As the department ponders its standard for forgiving loans, potentially tens of thousands of borrowers could seek relief from repaying tens of billions of dollars in debt.

How to find out what graduates of that cosmetology program actually make

brookings.edu — For a prospective student considering a job-training program, one question that can be hard to answer accurately is: What am I likely to earn if I finish the program? Even if a school wanted to provide an accurate answer, the best it can do is survey graduates and hope for enough honest answers to give a reliable reply.

High Stakes and a Potential Standoff Over Student-Loan Debt Relief

blogs.wsj.com — The U.S. Department of Education is opening what could be a very large (and, for taxpayers, expensive) door to debt relief. As the department ponders its standard for forgiving loans, potentially tens of thousands of borrowers could seek relief from repaying tens of billions of dollars in debt.

Alexander Hamilton Is Man of the Hour At Treasury Again

wsj.com — Secretaries Snow and Rubin Are Both Laying Claim To Predecessor's Blessing WASHINGTON - No one has yet proposed a duel. But Treasury Secretary John Snow and a predecessor of his from the Clinton years, Robert Rubin, are fighting over who has the best claim on the legacy of Alexander Hamilton.

Which states’ tax laws widen inequality?

brookings.edu — David Wessel discusses new research from Daniel Cooper of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Byron Lutz and Michael Palumbo of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington that was presented at a recent National Tax Association conference. Their research finds that, on average, state taxes increase income inequality.

IMF Economists’ Surprising Advice on Federal Debt: Don’t Worry About It

blogs.wsj.com — We've come a long way from the days when the International Monetary Fund so often advised governments to cut their budget deficits that some joked that IMF stood for It's Mostly Fiscal. A new working paper from three IMF economists underscores just how much things have changed.

Can we have more equality and more economic growth, too?

brookings.edu — David Wessel announces the reissuance of Arthur Okun's 1974 book, Equality and Efficiency: The Big Trade Off, which looks at if there are policies that can reduce the widening gap between winners and losers in the U.S. economy and not reduce the pace of economic growth.

Which States’ Tax Laws Widen Inequality

blogs.wsj.com — The federal tax code reduces income inequality significantly, taking more from the rich than it does from the middle class and the poor. What about state taxes, often ignored in the inequality conversation because data are so hard to come by?

Did the Fed's quantitative easing make inequality worse?

brookings.edu — On June 1, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy will address the widely heard criticism that the Federal Reserve’s purchase of trillions of dollars in bonds known as quantitative easing, led to more inequality by pushing up the prices of stocks, bonds, and other assets, which are already in the hands of the wealthy.

How large are global energy subsidies?

brookings.edu — The issue of energy subsidy and taxation reform remains high on the international policy agenda reflecting the need for countries to pledge carbon reductions ahead of the Paris 2015 United Nations climate conference. A new study by staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels.
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