In the News

Alan Auerbach in the news:

State bill could raise local sales taxes

Alan Auerbach quoted in State Tax Notes Magazine, (registration required) April 13, 2015

Alan Auerbach … said the push for additional tax revenue came despite an already improving state economy. He said the cap on property tax growth in California’s Proposition 13 was to blame. “If you look at local governments in California, they’re not getting as much property tax revenues as others” in different states, he said.

Patching up the social safety net

Alan Auerbach quoted in The New York Times, March 17, 2015

The great irony, Professor Auerbach notes, is that “inequality is increasing yet our ability to do anything about it is weakening.” The main job for any Democratic president might not be to bolster the nation’s social insurance apparatus but simply to hold the line.

Finding the funds for infrastructure improvement

Alan Auerbach interviewed by WBUR, On Point, February 5, 2015

“We’ve seen evidence of collapsing bridges and crumbling highways around the country. There’s no doubt that, as we’ve spent money on a lot of other things in the U.S., infrastructure spending has really lagged behind.”

Barack Obama claims deficit has decreased by two-thirds since taking office

Alan Auerbach quoted in Tampa Bay Times,, January 20, 2015

“It’s not clear one would want to view the evolution as relating to fiscal responsibility rather than an improving economy.”

MSNBC contributor says national debt is at its lowest point since World War II

Alan Auerbach quoted in Tampa Bay Times, “The Truth-O-Meter Says,” November 14, 2013

The story is the same for the 2012 federal deficit, which fell to 7 percent of GDP but was larger than any year since the end of World War II. In fact, as … Alan Auerbach pointed out, the federal government had budget surpluses while Bill Clinton was president.

Q&A: the government shutdown and its aftermath

Alan Auerbach interviewed by Commonwealth Club Blog, October 21, 2013

“An economy, which hasn’t been growing strongly since the recession, will grow even more slowly.” Auerbach went on to say that shutting down the government will cost us money.

Digging deep into federal default scenarios

Alan Auerbach interviewed by National Public Radio, On Point, October 10, 2013

“I don’t see how the largest economy in the world defaulting on its national debt isn’t a big deal. This is likely to raise the U.S. government’s borrowing rate and lead to a severe loss of credibility that the U.S. government can deal with the important issues it faces—not just on budget issues, but on other issues. If the U.S. government can’t even handle this issue, then why should our allies around the world think that we can deal with other important questions?”

Tax earnings where products are sold

Alan Auerbach writes for The New York Times, Room for Debate, May 30, 2013

Our corporate tax is showing its age…. The fundamental problem is our reliance on the concepts of residence, or where a company is located, and source, or where the company’s assets and production activities are located. These concepts may have worked reasonably well in the 1930s, but they do not hold up when confronting a multinational company with global operations.

Some breaks for industries are retained in fiscal deal

Alan Auerbach quoted in The New York Times, January 2, 2013

“Once they get in, they tend to stay in,” said Alan Auerbach, director of the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at the University of California, Berkeley.

GOP lacks incentive to provide details

Alan Auerbach quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, October 16, 2012

“There’s a deeper problem, because if they preserve a lot of these middle-class deductions (like the mortgage tax deduction), and they also say they’re going to avoid lowering taxes and raising the deficit, and they’re also not going to raise taxes on savings as investment and capital gains,” Auerbach said, “then they’ve boxed themselves in such a way that they can’t meet all their objectives.”

At Stanford, answers to the political question: How’s the economy?

Alan Auerbach quoted Stanford Report, September 26, 2012

According to Auerbach, the current drag on most of these economic indicators is a lack, not of private sector growth, but of government spending…. “The general impression is that government has grown or is out of control under the Obama administration,” said Auerbach. “But what’s actually holding us back is very weak growth in the government.”

Siemens plant in Charlotte offers lessons as Obama, Romney talk job creation

Alan Auerbach quoted in The Washington Post, September 4, 2012

Auerbach, who has studied the economic effects of tax cuts, said lower taxes on savings and investment do cause people to plow more money into new investments, which “should lead to faster economic growth.” But “how much, how fast” is harder to say, Auerbach said. And that approach is, in any case, less likely to be effective in a sluggish economy, he said, when businesses are holding back on new investments not because they do not have the cash, but because they are “looking first at whether they can sell stuff.”

Economists to Romney campaign: That’s not what our research says

Alan Auerbach quoted in The Washington Post, August 8, 2012

I e-mailed Auerbach the relevant quote from the Romney campaign’s paper, and added…. Do you think that reporters like me should assume that the 0.5-1% gdp boost is a reliable base case? His response came quickly. “I did not see the [Romney campaign's] paper, but from your description the basic answer to both of your questions is ‘no’,” he replied. His paper looked at “a much bigger tax change than Romney is proposing.” It also “assumed that all tax changes were revenue-neutral on an annual basis; the size of the Romney tax cuts makes this a questionable assumption.”

Republicans, Democrats playing chicken with economy

Alan Auerbach quoted in Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2012

“Unfortunately, this is the new normal in Washington,” said Alan Auerbach.

Romney vs. Obama on Corporate Tax Reform

Alan Auerbach cited in The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2012

Modern economic theory and empirical evidence—including a series of papers by one of us (Hassett) and Alan Auerbach of the University of California, Berkeley—show that raising taxes on dividends at the individual level increases the cost of equity capital and lowers asset prices, harming consumers while hindering firms’ ability to hire workers.

Alan Auerbach Opines on Greek Debt

The Wall Street Journal, The Numbers Guy, February 18, 2012 by Carl Bialik

“This is, in a sense, an issue of what the right debt measure is,” says Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Implicit liabilities belong in there somewhere, although there is no simple aggregation.”

Alan Auerbach Studies Impact of Fiscal Policy on US Economy

-The New York Times, January 6, 2012 by Binyamin Appelbaum

A recent study of federal spending since World War II by Alan Auerbach and Yuriy Gorodnichenko, both economists at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the economic benefits from nonmilitary spending were at least 50 percent larger than those from defense spending during periods of normal growth.

-Bloomberg, January 6, 2012 by the Editors

Ultimately, everyone will have to contribute―in the form of increased taxes, curtailed services or both. The longer we wait, the worse the problem will get: Auerbach estimates that another five years of current policy would bring the structural budget deficit to 5.8 percent of GDP a year.

Alan Auerbach Evaluates Romney’s Tax Plan

National Journal, January 5, 2012 by Nancy Cook

“It’s hard to see how you would benefit under Romney if you’re making under $75,000 a year,” says Alan Auerbach, the Robert D. Burch professor of economics and law at the University of California (Berkeley).

Alan Auerbach Discusses Closures of Redevelopment Agencies

KQED News, December 29, 2011 Host Kelly Wilkinson

“It’s part of the governor’s agenda to shift responsibilities to the local governments without giving them enough money to pay for it. It’s what we’re observing at the national level, too, the federal government is shifting responsibility onto the states and not giving them the money to pay for it. It’s what governments do when they don’t have enough money.”

Alan Auerbach Observes State Budget Conflict

National Public Radio, December 10, 2011 by Joel Rose

“The very word ‘deal’ doesn’t exist out here,” says Alan Auerbach.