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Tax Reform's Challenges and Opportunities


Friday, December 5, 2008 • 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (light breakfast at 8:30 a.m.)
The Brookings Institution • Falk Auditorium,
1775 Massachusetts Ave, N.W. • Washington, DC

The tax code is too complex, riddled with loopholes, and widely viewed as unfair. Now, a new President and Congress face the challenge of addressing these shortcomings while creating a new system that contributes to economic growth. Complicating matters further, President Bush’s tax cuts are due to expire in 2010, the alternative minimum tax will reach tens of millions of Americans if left alone, and lawmakers will be searching for revenue sources to help finance health care reform and other priorities.  With all of this as background, this day-long event — cosponsored with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) — will explore key tax issues that are, or should be, on the agenda of President-elect Obama and his new administration.

Welcome

Leonard Burman
Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute


Christopher Bergin
President and Publisher, Tax Analysts



Panel One: Setting the Stage

Leonard Burman (moderator)
Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

William Gale
Vice President and Director, Economic Studies Program, Brookings Institution
Codirector, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Roberton Williams
Principal Research Associate
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Urban Institute

John Buckley
Chief Democratic Tax Counsel
House Ways and Means Committee


Panel Two: Taxes and the Social Safety Net

Deborah Schenk (Moderator)
Ronald and Marilynn Grossman Professor of Taxation, New York University School of Law


Leonard Burman
Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

Fred Goldberg
Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom


Lunch: Senior Economic Advisor to President-Elect Obama



Panel Three: Taxation of Capital Income


Rosanne Altshuler (Moderator)
Rutgers University
Incoming Codirector, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Pamela Olson
Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy

Lily Batchelder
Associate Professor of Law and Public Policy
New York University Law School


Panel Four: Energy Taxes

Christopher Bergin (moderator)
President and Publisher, Tax Analysts


Martin Sullivan
Contributing Editor, Tax Analysts

David Weisbach
Walter J. Blum Professor of Law and Kearney Director of the Program in Law and Economics
University of Chicago Law School

Gilbert Metcalf
Professor of Economics
Tufts University


Closing Comments

Leonard Burman
Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute