Presentation on theme: "Life and Time and Taxes September 24, 2013 Prof. Rasmusen 1."— Presentation transcript:
Life and Time and Taxes September 24, 2013 Prof. Rasmusen erasmuse@Indiana.edu 1
Business Addition One dollar plus one dollar does not necessarily equal two dollars. 2
Marshall v. Commissioner A statute says that a recipients gift tax is limited to the value of the gift. In 1995, J. Howard Marshall II made a gift to Elaine Marshall worth some $43 million at the time of transfer. He did not pay gift tax before he died. The IRS assessed gift tax against his estate, which agreed to a settlement but failed to pay what it promised. In 2008 the IRS assessed gift tax against donee Elaine Marshall of $74 million, which exceeded $43 million because of the interest accumulated since 1995. How much should she pay? 3
Three Bonds Bond A pays out $10,000 adjusted for inflation to be received 1 year from today. Bond B pays out $10,000 adjusted for inflation to be received 50 years from today. Bond C pays out $1,000 adjusted for inflation each year forever, with the first payment one year from today. If I gave each bond to you right now, how much would you sell it to me for? 4
Present discounted value 5 The present discounted value or present value of X dollars received t years from today is, if the discount rate is constant at r: The value of of X dollars received t years from today is, if the discount rate varies each year: The present value of X dollars at the end of each year forever, the bond known as a perpetuity or a consol is :
Circular No. A-94– The Government Discount Rate 1. Base-Case Analysis. Constant-dollar benefit-cost analyses of proposed investments and regulations should report net present value and other outcomes determined using a real discount rate of 7 percent. This rate approximates the marginal pretax rate of return on an average investment in the private sector in recent years. 14
15 Analyses should show the sensitivity of the discounted net present value and other outcomes to variations in the discount rate. In analyzing a regulatory proposal whose main cost is to reduce business investment, net present value should also be calculated using a higher discount rate than 7 percent.... Circular No. A-94 -2
Circular No. A-94: Leases, etc. 16 This is for when the government will reduce govt. expenditure later by an investment now: The Treasurys borrowing rates should be used as discount rates … Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Analyses that involve constant-dollar costs should use the real Treasury borrowing rate on marketable securities of comparable maturity to the period of analysis...
The Cost of Risk-Reducing Regulations per Life Saved 17 Surplus would rise if we made Steering Column Protections Standards more strict and Atrazine in Drinking Water standards looser. Think of each regulation as a way to buy human lives. The Space Heater Ban is a cheap way to buy a life, and the Atrazine regulation is an expensive way.
The Great Queen Seondeok (Netflix) Should the disciple sell Deokman to the evil lord in exchange for rare herbs that will save 200 dying villagers? He does. His master hits him with a stick and says: 18 You should not play number games with peoples lives!
Two Methods 19 1. The Forensic Approach Look at the value of earnings and services that could be bought for dollar amounts, e.g. a man has 10 years of working life left, he earns $50,000/year, and interest rates are zero, so his life is worth $500,000. 2. The Statistical Life Approach Look at how much people accept to bear small risks of death and scale that up, e.g. We would each pay $20 to avoid a 1/1,000 chance of death this year, so as a group, 1,000 of us would pay $20,000 to avoid the certainty of one of us dying this year.
The Forensic Approach to Valuing a Human Life Suppose we take a single man aged 40 who will earn $80,000 per year for 25 years. The present value would be, if we use a discount rate of 10%: 20
The Human Life Value Calculator 21 http://www.lifehappens.org/human-life- value-calculator/www.lifehappens.org/human-life- value-calcu They dont say much about their calculation method, so dont take this too seriously. They are trying to sell insurance.
Value of a Statistical Life You will be crossing the street and you have one chance in 10,000 of being hit by a bus and killed instantly. You may buy out of this risk for a cash payment now. You may borrow to make the payment, at the t-bill rate. This risk is about the same as the average yearly fatality rate for construction workers. How much would you pay? If you would pay X, your value of a statistical life is 10,000X. 22
Statistical Lifes Rationale in Group Risks A group of 10,000 people know that one of them, picked randomly, will die next year unless we each pay amount X now. What is the maximum X you would pay? If each person would pay $1,000, the total payment is 10,000 times $1,000, which is 10 million dollars. We can say that is the statistical value of a life. How much would you be willing to *accept* to take on an extra risk of this size? Suppose Mr. Smith is only willing to pay $200 to eliminate the risk, not $1,000. Should we require him to pay more anyway? On the other hand, is it fair for other citizens to pay $1,000 on his behalf? 23
Lost-Workday Injuries 25 Viscusi and Aldy found that the average worker valued a typical lost- workday injury at $47,900. Smokers valued a lost day at $26,100. Workers who used seat belts valued a lost day at $78,200.
Fishermen "Fishermen are brought to the safety table kicking and screaming," says Jim Herbert, an Alaskan fisherman and chairman of an industry- dominated safety committee that advises the Coast Guard.. "Prevention of casualties will occur when we decide to require design, construction and maintenance standards for all fishing vessels and licensing standards for operators and crewmembers," says Richard Hiscock, a marine safety expert … Today, most fishing boat operators aren't required to have a license or safety training. Yet, recreational boating operators in at least 33 states are required to have such training… Fishing boat crewmembers also aren't certified, and most have little or no training, safety experts say. As for the boat itself, nearly all operate without safety standards for design, construction and maintenance. Yet many fishermen have strongly opposed standards that might save their own lives," … 27
Iraq Some workers are more risk-averse than others, or more danger-averse, and they prefer safer but less remunerative jobs. A few years ago a young college graduate who wanted a high income would have done better as truck driver in Iraq than as an investment banker, though with less chances for advancement. When National Guardsman Gerald Harris was offered $120,000 in July to work as a truck driver in Iraq for Kellogg Brown & Root, it didnt take him long to make up his mind…. 28
Some Iraq Calculations Harris was ending a six-month tour hauling battle tanks to the front line, and had spent his share of sleepless nights listening to the echo of weapons fire from the sweltering sand floor of his Army tent. `I dont care how much money you offer me, I wont do it, I did some calculations based on the newspaper article: 30 killed plus 7 missing divided by 24,000 employees equals 0.00154, = 154 per 100,000. The fatal injury rate for fishermen152 in 2010. 29
Risks Taken Voluntarily To value reductions in more voluntarily incurred risks (e.g., those related to motorcycling without a helmet) that are high", agencies should consider using lower values than those applied to reductions in involuntary risk. When a higher-risk option is chosen voluntarily, those who assume the risk may be more risk-tolerant, i.e., they may place a relatively lower value on avoiding risks. Empirical studies of risk premiums in higher-risk occupations suggest that reductions in risks for voluntarily assumed high risk jobs... are valued less than equal risk reductions for lower-risk jobs. 30
OMBs Value of Life 31 The Office of Management and Budget told agencies in 2004 to pick a number between $1 and $10 million, though officials told a reporter that by 2011 it would not accept a number under $5 million.
Car Roof Strength 34 The Bush Administration rejected regulation in 2005 to require car roofs to double in strength. It estimated that this would prevent 135 deaths in rollover accidents each year, but at a value of a life of $3.5 million the extra cost would exceed the extra value (which also included averted injuries) by $800 million. The agency therefore proposed a smaller increase in roof strength that was estimated to save 44 lives per year. In 2010 the Obama Administration imposed the stricter and more expensive standard, using a value of life of $6.1 million.
The Struldrugs 35 Life is less enjoyable when youre feeble.
Consumption Data So far weve talked about using employment risks. One could also use consumption risks. Example: If someone is paying $200 extra to buy a car with a strong roof, eliminating a 1/1,000 risk, that person has a value of a statistical life of $200,000..36
Paragliding– The Down Side 38 The moral: People differ in their values of life and their value of paragliding. (Most people would pay NOT to paraglide.)
39 To value reductions in more voluntarily incurred risks (e.g., those related to motor- cycling without a helmet) that are high, agencies should consider using lower values than those applied to reductions in involuntary risk. When a higher-risk option is chosen voluntarily, those who assume the risk may be more risk-tolerant, i.e., they may place a relatively lower value on avoiding risks. Empirical studies of risk premiums in higher-risk occupations suggest that reductions in risks for voluntarily assumed high risk jobs (e.g., above 104 annually) are valued less than equal risk reductions for lower-risk jobs. Office of Management and the Budget, Economic Analysis of Federal Regulations Under Executive Order 12866, January 11, 1996,. Economic Analysis of Federal Regulations Under Executive Order 12866 Voluntary Choice
Nub City There was another man who took out insurance with 28 or 38 companies, said Murray Armstrong, an insurance official for Liberty National. He was a farmer and ordinarily drove around the farm in his stick shift pickup. This day -- the day of the accident -- he drove his wifes automatic transmission car and he lost his left foot. If hed been driving his pickup, hed have had to use that foot for the clutch. He also had a tourniquet in his pocket. We asked why he had it and he said, Snakes. In case of snake bite. Hed taken out so much insurance he was paying premiums that cost more than his income. He wasnt poor, either. Middle class. He collected more than $1-million from all the companies. It was hard to make a jury believe a man would shoot off his foot. 40
The Cost of Taxes 41 (1) A tax is a transfer. (2) A tax has incentive effects.
Computing the Cost of Taxes 42 Suppose the government imposes a tax on sellers of coal of T dollars per ton that is, each seller must pay the government T dollars per ton that it sells. Who gains and who loses?
Triangle Losses 47 OMB: Because taxes generally distort relative prices, they impose a burden in excess of the revenues they raise. Recent studies of the U.S. tax system suggest a range of values for the marginal excess burden, of which a reasonable estimate is 25 cents per dollar of revenue.
Triangle Losses II 48 OMB: The presentation of results for public investments that are not justified on cost- saving grounds should include a supplementary analysis with a 25 percent excess burden. Thus, in such analyses, costs in the form of public expenditures should be multiplied by a factor of 1.25 and net present value recomputed.
Triangle Losses III 49 If the government had a project that would yield 1.1 million dollars in benefit but it had to use taxes to fund the project, the project would reduce social surplus overall. On the other hand, if the government had a project that would yield 1.4 million dollars in benefits, the project would be worthwhile despite the inefficiency of taxes.
Professor Mankiws Taxes: Does His Rate Affect His Work? 50 I can afford to pay more in taxes. My income is not in the same league as superstar actors and hedge fund managers, but I have been very lucky nonetheless. Unlike many other Americans, I dont have trouble making ends meet. … Paying an extra few percent in taxes wouldnt create a lot of hardship. His article shows that he may well end up paying a 90% marginal tax rate.
Ramsey Taxation 51 When supply and-or demand is less elastic, a tax doesnt create so much deadweight loss. In the extreme, when either supply or demand is completely inelastic, the tax creates no loss at all. That was the idea for Henry Georges Single Tax in 1879. He ran for mayor of New York City and came in second (TR was third).
Income Tax vs. Sales Tax vs.VAT 52 Income Tax: A tax on earnings, from land, labor or capital. Sales Tax: A percentage or per-unit tax on transactions, usually just on sales to the final consumer and not from one business to another. Value-Added Tax: a percentage tax on the value added between one sale of a good and the next.
VAT Example 53 Value-Added Tax: a percentage tax on the value added between one sale of a good and the next. Supplier sells me wood for $100.00. The VAT is 10%, so Supplier must pay $10 to the government. Then Retailer carves the wood and sells the carving to Consumer for $400. The VAT is 10%. Retailer would pay $40 to the government, except Retailer also attaches to his tax form a copy of his receipt from Supplier for $100 (which shows that Supplier paid $10 already), so Retailers ultimate VAT bill is $30. Retailers value-added is $300.
The Essentials of Taxes 54 1. Taxes create inefficiency. 2. The burden of a tax is shared between producers and consumers, even if it is the producers who have to give the tax money to the government.
Tax Transparency 56 After the government joined private parties in purchasing most of General Motorss property, the Secretary of the Treasury issued the EESA Notices. They said that the usual tax rules would not apply and the purchasers could deduct $45 billion from their future corporate income, a tax asset worth an estimated $12 billion.
Other Tax Distortions 57 A corporation that buys property does not thereby acquire the right to reduce its corporate income tax by deducting the sellers past years losses against its own future income. The tax code contains rules out various complex ways of doing that, to prevent companies from being bought for the sake of the net operating loss carryovers. Can the Treasury Exempt Companies It Owns from Taxes? The $45 Billion General Motors Loss Carry- forward Rule (with J. Mark Ramseyer), The Cato Papers on Public Policy, edited by Jeffrey Miron,Can the Treasury Exempt Companies It Owns from Taxes? The $45 Billion General Motors Loss Carry- forward Rule The Cato Papers on Public Policy,
The U.S. Government Loss It apparently lost ($49.5 billion - $42 billion =) $7.5 billion. Yet appearances deceive. The government also gave GM investors $45 billion in NOLs. If the 363 sale had not gone through, or the sale had been made to some outside buyer, these NOLs would have disappeared. The book value of these NOLs is $18 billion. To be sure, Treasury was giving tax breaks partly to itself, and the book value of the NOLs exceeds their market value since it would take some years before GM could exhaust them. If the market value of the NOLs were, say, $12 billion, consider the $12 billion worth of NOL's an additional loss to the Treasury. In effect, the Treasury lent GM $49.5 billion, and lost ($7.5 billion + $12 billion)/$49.5 billion = 39 percent. If only Treasury could have inserted a further secret $20 billion of assets into New GM, New GMs stock price would have been so high that Treasury would have appeared to make a profit from the entire affair.
59 Can the Treasury Exempt Companies It Owns from Taxes? The $45 Billion General Motors Loss Carry- forward Rule (with J. Mark Ramseyer), The Cato Papers on Public Policy, edited by Jeffrey Miron,Can the Treasury Exempt Companies It Owns from Taxes? The $45 Billion General Motors Loss Carry- forward Rule The Cato Papers on Public Policy,