Donald Marron

Former Member of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers
Donald Marron is the director of Economic Policy Initiatives, an institute fellow at Urban Institute, and director emeritus of the Tax Policy Center. He previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, as acting-director of the Congressional Budget Office, and as executive director of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. Before his government service, Marron taught economics and finance at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and served as chief financial officer of a health care software start-up. He was also a visiting professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Should Congress Use Income Tax to Discourage Consumer Drug Ads?

January 30, 2019

The Shaheen bill has the same rhetorical power as earlier proposals to eliminate tax deductibility for consumer ads. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and a score of Democratic co-sponsors want to use the tax code to discourage direct-to-consumer advertising by drug companies. Their bill, the End Taxpayer Subsidies for Drug Ads...

Carbon Dividends: The Hottest Idea in Climate Policy

January 03, 2019

While the premise is simple, the details of implementing carbon dividends are complex. Carbon dividends are the hottest idea in climate policy. A diverse mix of progressive and conservative voices in America are backing the idea of returning carbon tax revenues to households in the form of regular “dividend” payments....

How Should Tax Reform Treat Employee Stock and Options?

October 22, 2017

In America, stock options create some unusual challenges for tax writers. The tax treatment of employee stock and options raises a classic Goldilocks problem. We want to tax this compensation neither too much nor too little. In a recent policy brief, I consider three questions about how to strike that balance....

Can Trump Make Mexico Pay for the Wall?

February 02, 2017

If President Trump wants to Mexico to pay for the wall, he needs another strategy. Mexico won’t willingly write the check for Donald Trump’s wall. So the president is hunting for a way to make Mexico pay. That search isn’t going well. On January 26, Press Secretary Sean Spicer floated...

Taxing Carried Interest Just Right

October 07, 2016

The bottom line is that full reform would tax carried interest just right, says Donald Marron. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree on one thing: Managers of private equity funds should pay ordinary tax rates on their carried interest, not the lower rates that apply to long-term capital gains and...

The $300 Billion Question

September 29, 2014

How should Congress budget for federal lending programs? Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from...

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?

September 11, 2014

The Export-Import Bank creates winners and losers, and Congress must balance its costs and benefits. Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started,...

Should We Eliminate the Extraordinary Measures?

October 16, 2013

Congress has been paying its bills since May 19 by using extraordinary measures. You’ve probably heard that Treasury will hit the debt limit on October 17, and soon thereafter it won’t be able to pay all of America’s bills. That second part is true: Congress needs to act soon —...

Would a Carbon Tax and Corporate Tax Reform Taste Great Together?

February 20, 2013

A carbon-for-corporate tax swap may be a recipe for environmental and economic improvement, but it isn’t a complete one. Lawmakers should consider other policy initiatives that could help protect low-income households, and potentially make a carbon-for-corporate tax swap a more balanced policy option. Two great tastes often taste great together....

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