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Reductions in After-Tax Income as a Consequence of Eliminating Certain Tax Expenditures

Any replication of this chart should be credited to The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.

Reductions in After-Tax Income as a Consequence of Eliminating Certain Tax Expenditures

Eliminating or limiting tax expenditures are commonly endorsed tax reform options. However, as with other approaches to raising taxes, the distributional consequences of reducing tax expenditures depend largely on which tax expenditures are eliminated. This chart presents the distributional consequences of eliminating each of the six largest individual tax expenditures. For instance, family-related tax credits like the EITC, CTC, and DCTC are important for promoting the progressivity of the tax schedule because they primarily reduce taxes paid among low-income working families with children. The reduced rates on capital gains and dividends, which are intended to promote saving, primarily benefit taxpayers in the highest income groups.


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Evolution of the Jobs Gap and Possible Scenarios for Growth

September 4, 2015 • Charts

Each month, The Hamilton Project calculates America’s “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the people who newly enter the labor force each month. As of the end of August 2015, our nation faces a jobs gap of 3.2 million jobs.

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Composition of Americans’ Tax-Preferred Savings, by Type of Account. 1978-2014

June 23, 2015 • Charts

In 2014, nearly 60 percent of Americans' tax-preferred retirement savings were held in either IRAs or defined-contribution plans, and only 13 percent were held in private sector traditional pensions (i.e., defined-benefit plans).

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Percent of American Adults Who Demonstrated an Understanding of Basic Financial Concepts

June 23, 2015 • Charts

This chart presents one widely used measure of financial literacy: the ability to correctly answer three questions about compound interest, inflation, and risk diversification. Fewer than half of Americans can accurately answer these questions.

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Half of Americans Turning 65 in 2015 Face Out-of-Pocket Expenditures on Long-term Care

June 23, 2015 • Charts

Half of all Americans turning 65 in 2015 will eventually face out-of-pocket expenditures on long-term services and supports (LTSS)—services provided in nursing homes, adult day-care centers, or in people’s homes that support those who have difficulty with routine daily activities such as bathing or dressing.

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Probability of a 65-Year-Old Living to a Given Age, by Sex and Year

June 23, 2015 • Charts

Rising life expectancy and potentially exorbitant long-term care costs have increased the financial resources required to support oneself and one’s spouse in retirement and old age.  

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Percent of Nonretired Americans Who Expect to Live Comfortably in Retirement, 2002-2014

June 23, 2015 • Charts

In 2014 approximately half of nonretired Americans reported being confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

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Tax Revenue Collected on a Gallon of Gasoline by State, January 2015

May 7, 2015 • Charts

Federal taxes, which are constant across states, amount to 18.4 cents per gallon—of which 15.44 cents go to the highway portion of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), 2.86 cents to the mass transit portion of the HTF, and 0.1 cent to maintaining underground storage tanks). State taxes on gasoline vary considerably.

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Average Loss per Passenger Ride by U.S. Metro Rail System, 2013

May 7, 2015 • Charts

Of the more than 1,800 mass transit systems in the United States—including those running trains, buses, or other transport modes—roughly 2 percent reported that fare revenue exceeded operating expenses in 2013. 

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Highway Trust Fund Balance, 1957–2013

May 7, 2015 • Charts

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), established by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, was the first dedicated funding source for highway construction and maintenance. For most of its history, the HTF was well in the black. Over the past fifteen years, however, expenditures have routinely exceeded revenues.

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Public Infrastructure Spending, 1956-2014

May 7, 2015 • Charts

Public infrastructure spending from all levels of government totaled $416 billion in 2014—$41 billion (9 percent) less than its peak of $457 billion in 2003.

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