Program on Inequality and the Common Good

Extreme inequalities of income, wealth and opportunity undercut democracy, social solidarity and mobility, economic stability, and many other aspects of our personal and public lives.  The Program on Inequality and the Common Good focuses on these and other dangers that income disparities pose for the U.S.

Through research and reporting, this program encourages policy interventions that can reduce extreme wealth inequality, and close the growing gap between the rich and poor. Recent reports have examined the estate tax, the racial wealth gap, inequality in philanthropy, and other topics related to extreme wealth concentration. The central theme of the program is that without significant reform and a systemic view of inequality on both a national and global level, the overall wealth divide will continue to grow exponentially.

Latest Work

Why Billionaires Love to Park Their Dynastic Wealth in Places Like South Dakota

State-level loopholes have made it possible for some of the wealthiest families in the world to make sure most of their riches are never taxed.

The Simplest, Most Effective, and Popular Way to Fund the Jobs Bill

Moderates and progressives converge on Capitol Hill to support a targeted tax on multi-millionaires.

National Philanthropic (Mis)Trust

Donor-advised funds are making misleading claims in response to criticism that they are warehousing wealth instead of boosting charitable giving.

Close Down the Estate Tax Manipulations That Benefit Billionaires

The latest tax proposals in Congress are an okay first step, but don’t go far enough to address one of the biggest enablers of dynastic wealth.

House Tax Proposal Falls Short of Making Billionaires Pay Their Fair Share

The Ways and Means Committee plan would make a down payment on much-needed public investments but doesn’t go far enough to address wealth inequality.

94 Organizations Urge Congress to Stand Up to Pressure from Corporate Lobbyists and Pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

Letter denounces corporate lobbyists’ assault on vital programs and services supporting children and working families and combating climate change.

93 Organizations Urge Congress to Stand Up to Pressure from Corporate Lobbyists and Pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

Letter denounces corporate lobbyists’ assault on vital programs and services supporting children and working families and combating climate change.

Does Our Tax System Benefit the Rich on Purpose?

It’s a complicated question. But as a tax attorney, I believe firmly that the flaws are intentional.

Boost Workers and Tax Billionaires

As the super-rich got richer, the most economically precarious have been pushed to the curb.

We Must End the Housing Crisis

Communities need to expand the supply of local homeownership and permanently affordable rental housing, owned by nonprofits and community housing authorities.

The American Families Plan Taxes Billionaires and Protects Family Farms and Businesses

President Joe Biden has proposed tax reforms to close a capital gains loophole favoring the wealthiest Americans.

Elly May Clampett Is the Target of Biden’s Tax Plan, Not Laura Ingalls

The capital-gains-tax proposal would actually protect family farmers like those on “Little House on the Prairie” and tax the windfall riches ‘earned” by ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’

Our ‘Trillion-Dollar Seven’: Can We Summon the Courage to Tax Them?

The billions our billionaires are grabbing currently face a next-to-nothing tax rate.

Who Is Buying My Neighborhood?

Anonymous corporations own more and more of our cities.

U.S. Billionaires Got 62 percent Richer During Pandemic. They’re Now Up $1.8 Trillion.

Billionaire wealth gains made during the COVID-19 pandemic could pay for half of Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget package

More Evidence of Warehousing of Wealth in Donor-Advised Funds

New report finds more than one billion dollars in DAF grants went to other commercial DAFs in 2019.

Global Billionaires See $5.5 Trillion Pandemic Wealth Surge

Global advocates call for one-time, 99 percent emergency tax on billionaires’ pandemic windfalls to fund COVID-19 jabs for entire world.

Helping the Rich Let Go

A new generation of wealth advisors helps wealthy people give away their money instead of hoard it.

Taxing Lifetime Gains Serves Different Fairness Goal Than Estate Tax

The “basis step-up” allows wealthy people to avoid paying income tax on lifetimes of investment gains.

New Research Suggests DAF Payout Is Worse Than We Thought

We must prevent our charitable system from being misused by those with the means and motivation to do so.