Job Creation Tax Options

America is at an historic moment. The need to get more Americans working and the need for fundamental tax reform have never been clearer. And policy makers and the public increasingly understand the fact that these two issues are interlinked. This actually creates a giant economic opportunity. The tools to seize that opportunity are readily at hand and have appeal across the political spectra. These are described in our Tax Options working paper.

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issue brief: a non-labor value added tax

A value-added tax (VAT) is a general tax on consumption of materials, energy and labor, collected in stages as goods and services are produced and marketed. Similar to a sales tax, the VAT is regressive.1 However, if revenues were used to offset even more regressive payroll taxes (a tax shift), the effect would be progressive. Since the early 1950s, a general VAT has been widely adopted in both industrial and developing countries. More than 100 countries, including all members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) except the United States use a VAT.

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Summary of Job-creating Tax Options ($bil)

The table at left lists two dozen tax options. Get America Working! does not advocate any particular tax or combination of taxes from the Table. We believe that the political process will do a better job of selecting the least painful and most politically feasible set of alternatives once our elected leaders understand the benefits of this approach and are influenced by a public that also understands the potential.
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Note: The Table at left, from GAW’s Job Creation Tax Options report, relies principally on government data, some of which is reported annually, some every two to four years. The purpose is to show a range of what is possible, not exact estimates. We continue to seek new data. Several targets of the options overlap, so one would not do all of them; rather policymakers can pick the easiest to implement, the longest lasting, or use some other metric.