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Scott Hodge Tax Foundation

Scott Hodge

President Emeritus & Senior Policy Advisor

Scott Hodge is President Emeritus & Senior Policy Advisor at the Tax Foundation, which he led as President for over two decades, between 2000 and 2022. Scott Hodge is recognized as one of Washington’s leading experts on tax policy, the federal budget, and government spending. After taking over the Tax Foundation, he grew the organization from a modest, six-person group with a storied brand into a national powerhouse with a staff of over 30, informing smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and global levels.

Scott led the development of the Tax Foundation’s most successful programs, the Taxes and Growth Dynamic Tax Modeling project and the State Business Tax Climate Index, two projects that have changed the terms of the tax debate, encouraged competition towards pro-growth tax policies, and demonstrated to policymakers and taxpayers alike the impact of the tax code on our daily lives. Combined with his experience in tax policy of more than 35 years, Scott was one of the driving forces of tax reform that culminated in the historic 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Congress and the White House turned to Scott and the Tax Foundation for guidance in crafting the once-in-a-generation legislation.

The TCJA was just the latest in a string of developments in tax policy that Scott helped foster. During the 1990s, he helped design the major tax components of the Contract with America that became the eventual centerpieces of the 1997 tax bill and the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.

Scott has written and edited three books on the federal budget and streamlining the government and has authored hundreds of studies on tax policy and government spending. He has also written dozens of editorials and opinion pieces for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, the New York Post and The Washington Times. And he has conducted more than 1,000 radio and television interviews—including with NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN, Fox, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and C-SPAN.

Before joining the Tax Foundation, Scott was Director of Tax and Budget Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. He also spent ten years at The Heritage Foundation as a fellow analyzing budget and tax policy. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Latest Work

Real bracket creep and TCJA expirations won't keep pace with federal spending CBO long-term budget outlook federal deficit

3 Observations on the CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook

The latest CBO long-term budget outlook paints a troubling picture of fiscal irresponsibility. Rather than halt this rampant spending, Congress is actively adding programs that will exacerbate these long-term trends.

7 min read
Biden semiconductors computer Biden chips act subsidies could be a wasteful federal program

Chips Are Down in Semiconductor Tax World

The Senate has begun debate on the so-called Chips bill, which would provide $52 billion in grants and $24 billion in tax credits to supposedly strengthen the production of semiconductors in the U.S.

3 min read
Biden estate tax Biden tax wealth tax Biden capital gains tax Biden wealth tax unrealized capital gains at death American Families Plan tax proposals American Family Plan Details and Analysis Biden American Families Plan Senate American Rescue Plan direct payments stimulus checks federal covid relief American Rescue Plan tax american rescue plan stimulus payments Tracking the 2021 Biden Tax Plan

President Biden’s 61 Percent Tax on Wealth

As part of President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, the White House has once again endorsed a major tax increase on accumulated wealth, adding up to a 61 percent tax on wealth of high-earning taxpayers.

4 min read
Janet Yellen Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen Treasury testimony confirmation testimony and hearing

5 Observations on Janet Yellen’s Recent Confirmation Testimony

In her recent confirmation hearing, economist Janet Yellen, President Biden’s choice for Treasury Secretary, sought to reassure markets that the new administration would not raise corporate taxes until the economy improves. At the same time, however, she sent a troubling signal that when they do push for higher corporate tax rates, they would do so in coordination with other countries so that the U.S. doesn’t lose its competitive edge.

5 min read
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offshoring OECD BEPS project, OECD consultation document, OECD multinationals, Consumption tax policies in OECD countries, Consumption taxes in OECD countries

Digital Tax Deadlock: Where Do We Go from Here?

We recently hosted an exclusive webinar discussion to get up to speed on recent digital tax developments and gain insight from leading international tax experts on the OECD’s BEPS project.

9 min read
Vehicle miles traveled tax VMT tax, motor fuel tax, transportation funding, highway trust fund economic impact of increased infrastructure spending

Cautionary Notes from CBO on the Effects of Federal Investment

Based on the CBO’s assessment of the economic and budgetary effects of federal investment, lawmakers should look to spur private sector investment rather than try to enact a massive federal infrastructure bill.

5 min read
digital services tax revenue estimates, digital service tax revenue, digital tax revenue, digital tax analysis

Watch: Taxing the Digital Economy

What changed in the global economy that disrupted traditional means of taxation? Is it worth finding a way to include tax digital goods and services in the tax base? Why are digital services taxes so problematic? Are there better options—ways to adapt our current system without introducing complex and economically harmful policies?

2 min read

Watch: Economic Recovery After Coronavirus

What are the best tax policies to encourage a smooth transition and strong economic recovery? How should goals of economic recovery and growth be balanced with revenue needs?

1 min read

Lessons from Alberto Alesina for U.S. Lawmakers

Alesina’s work suggests that raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit and national debt would be an economic mistake. The less economically damaging path is to cut spending, what some have called austerity policies.

3 min read
Capital cost recovery and capital allowances in the OECD 2023 , full expensing, full immediate expensing

Empirical Evidence Shows Expensing Leads to More Investment and Higher Employment

The Tax Foundation’s General Equilibrium Model suggests that allowing businesses to immediately deduct or “expense” their capital investments in the year in which they are purchased delivers the biggest bang for the buck in spurring economic growth and jobs compared to other tax policies.

7 min read