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

A Perfect Storm Has Elon Musk Paying $11 Billion in Tax

But our only quarter-trillionaire is still not paying anything close to his fair tax share.

Should Rich People Get a Free Pass at Tax Time?

We’re finally debating that question. Let’s not miss our opportunity.

American Tax Policy in the Age of Trillionaires

Have we just about decided that the further accumulation of billionaire fortunes makes for good public policy?

Democrats’ Budget Deal Will Collect Billions from the Wealthy to Invest in Human Needs

The compromise is an important first step towards a fair tax system and a more equitable economy.

Let’s Make the Most of This ‘Tax Billionaires’ Moment

The movement to tax extreme wealth to pay for human needs suddenly has a rare political opening.

Subway’s Sandwich Mogul Meets — and Beats — the IRS

A new U.S. District Court ruling helps billionaires escape millions in gift taxes.

Why the Superrich Are Flocking to South Dakota

South Dakota has become a tax haven for the wealthy. Here’s how the trust industry gained a foothold.

The Case for a Billionaires Income Tax

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 745 U.S. billionaires have seen their total wealth increase by $2.1 trillion, a gain of 70 percent.

Phil Knight: A Case Study in Billionaire Tax Avoidance

How to dodge over $3.6 billion in taxes.

Phil Knight’s Billion-Dollar Philanthropy: Generosity or Self-Service?

New revelations about the Nike founder’s tax-dodging schemes raise questions about his charitable giving.

Phil Knight’s Big Tax Dodge: A Q&A With Tax Attorney Bob Lord

The veteran tax attorney unraveled Nike founder Phil Knight’s tax avoidance schemes for a recent Bloomberg investigation. He sits down with Chuck Collins to explain how this is possible under existing tax law — and what should change.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surged by 70 Percent, or $2.1 Trillion, During Pandemic.

Sen. Wyden’s billionaires income tax tapping those huge returns could raise big revenue to fund President Biden’s Build Back Better investment plan.

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.