Capital Ideas Blog

Introducing the Big Question

By Hal Weitzman

From: Blog

We're delighted to be posting on the web today the first in our new monthly video series, The Big Question, featuring a panel discussion between Booth faculty and invited guests.

This is part one in our two-part launch for February, featuring Booth profs Austan Goolsbee, Steven Kaplan and Randall Kroszner alongside David Axelrod, of the University of Chicago's new Institute of Politics.

Among many great points, Austan Goolsbee has a terrific observation on the US's over-complicated corporate tax code. "We have the highest corporate rate in the world, but we actually have very low taxes on investment," he notes.

"And that's partly [because] we, the economics profession, advise that that kind of system is the better way to tax companies than just having a low corporate rate that applies to everything...we said: 'you want to try to encourage investment, so keep the rate high and give these special investment deals'."

"Now, we're in some sense going around and arguing the opposite—let's broaden the base and lower the rate.  It may be that our previous advice was wrong.  But we should bear in mind that we, the economists, advised something like the system that we got to."

Part two of the launch will be posted next week, featuring Booth faculty John Cochrane, Steven Davis and Amir Sufi.


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