Tax Reform Focus of Baker Conference

first_imgAddThis Share CONTACT: Dana Durbin PHONE: (713)831-4797E-MAIL:[email protected] REFORM FOCUS OF BAKER INSTITUTE ANNUAL CONFERENCEIssues confronting proponents offederal tax law reform will be the focus of the fourth annual conference ofRice’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy in earlyNovember.“Tax Reform for the Millennium,” the title of the two-dayconference scheduled for Nov. 5 and 6 in Baker Hall on the Rice campus, willexplore a wide variety of issues associated with fundamental reform in the taxsystem in the United States. Tax reform proposals that will be discussed include thenational retail sales tax, the flat tax and the value-added tax, according toPeter Mieszkowski, Rice’s Cline Professor of Economics. Mieszkowski and Rice’sEconomics Department Chair George Zodrow are the academic organizers of theconference. Conference participants will examine a host of issues relatedto tax policy reforms, including their economic impacts, international effects,transitional problems, distributional effects, administrative and compliancecosts and political implications. “This is not a conference to promote tax reform,” Mieszkowskisaid. “Our object is to have a debate and discuss in some depth the issuesraised by tax policy reform.”Participants are proponents of reform, including U.S. Rep. BillArcher of Houston, as well as those who are skeptical of the benefits of taxreform, Mieszkowski said.Archer, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, will speakat 10:30 a.m. Nov. 5. Then at 11:15 a.m. a panel will address “Politics andEconomics of Tax Reform: The View From Congress.” Participants will includeArcher; Robert Hall of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, one of thecreators of the flat tax proposal; Michael Graetz, who is a leading tax scholarfrom the Yale University law school and a former treasury official; JaneGravelle, a well-known tax researcher at the Congressional Research Service; andJohn Karl Scholz, who is currently at the University of Wisconsin-MadisonDepartment of Economics and recently left the U.S. Department of theTreasuryLeonard Burman, deputy assistant secretary for tax policy withthe Treasury Department, will speak at 2 p.m. Nov. 5. Following his remarks willbe a panel discussion, “Politics and Economics of Tax Reform: The View From theTreasury.” On the conference’s second day, Nov. 6, participants willpresent papers relating to their areas of expertise. It is expected that thepapers will be published in a Baker Institute conference volume, which couldbecome a prominent source of information on the critical issues raised byconsumption tax reforms.The day will be broken into two sessions. Zodrow will moderatethe first session, scheduled from 8:15 a.m. to noon. Rice President MalcolmGillis, who is the Kenneth Zingler Professor of Economics at Rice and for manyyears focused his research and teaching activities in part on national andinternational economic reform, will introduce this session.Participants during this first session and the issues on whichthey will present papers include: Dale Jorgenson, Harvard University Departmentof Economics, behavioral responses and implications; Jane Gravelle,Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress, behavioral responsesand implications; Charles Ballard, Michigan State University Department ofEconomics, international issues; and Glenn Hubbard, Columbia University Schoolof Business, capital taxation. The session will conclude with a panel discussionand a question and answer period.The second session, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. will be moderated byMieszkowski. Participants and the papers they will present include Zodrow,transitional issues; Mieszkowski, distributional concerns; William Gale, theBrookings Institute, administration and compliance; Sijbren Cnossen, ErasmusUniversiteit Rotterdam, European perspective; and Joe Barnes, Rice UniversityBaker Institute, political aspects. This session will also conclude with a paneldiscussion and question and answer period.###last_img