Tax Foundation

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This deliberate fraud — because that’s what it has to be — is an example of the reasons knowledgeable people don’t trust the Tax Foundation.
Paul Krugman[1]

The Tax Foundation is a non-partisan wingnut (un)think tank which publishes slanted economic papers about politically charged issues to push a libertarian perspective. The Foundation was founded by and for corporate interests by its own admission,[2] and advocates theories about the legality of taxation,[3] and other neoconservative talking points. Another major think tank that studies taxes, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) heavily critized one of their reports, claiming that its “[f]igures do not represent typical households’ tax burdens” and that "The Tax Foundation report calculates the average tax rate by measuring tax revenues as a share of the economy, but in a country with progressive tax system like that of the United States, only upper-income households pay federal tax at rates that are equal to or above federal revenues as a share of the economy." As a result, 80% of the American households paid a smaller share of their income in federal taxes in 2013 (the year of the report) than the Tax Foundation’s average tax rate.[4] The Tax Foundation was also criticized by Forbes contributor Peter J Reilly during the 2016 US presidential campaign. According to Reilly, their model was more of a counterfactual than a forecast of what would happen if Bernie Sanders was elected that year and implemented his health care program. Reilly also criticized the TF for not incorporating much from the new field of behavioral economicsWikipedia on their study. Reilly made clear however that he “really like what the Tax Foundation does, but I tend not to like too much what some people do with what the Tax Foundation does.”[5]

The Tax Foundation is heavily bankrolled by the Koch Brothers, who donated $545,000 through the Claude R. Lambe Foundation,[6] a Koch owned "charity"[7] which also funded similar (un)think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Americans for Prosperity before it was dismantled in 2013.[8][9] Not to be left out, the Charles G. Koch Foundation managed to cough up another $182,100 to support the Foundation's economic research.[10] The Charles Koch Institute shamelessly lists the Tax Foundation as a "partner organization", along with other (un)think tanks.[11]

Other upstanding citizens who contribute to the Tax Foundation include ExxonMobile,[12] PepsiCo,[13] General Electric,[14] Hewlett-Packard,[15] and General Motors.[16] The Tax Foundation receives 40% of its funding from corporate sponsors, and an additional 42% from "philanthropic foundations" like the Koch groups above, providing obedient cranks with job security. [17]

From its website:

We believe that we have an obligation to respect your philanthropic intent as a donor and that we are strictly accountable to you. To that end, we pledge always to respect your philanthropic intent. To ensure our supporters can remain confident in our commitment to promoting sound tax policy as an independent organization: our Board of Directors has amended our By-laws to ensure the Tax Foundation remains true to its purpose.[18]

So much for non-partisan.

External links[edit]