Thursday, November 19, 2015

My almost-last work-related road trip of the year

I've been going to out-of-town talks and conferences a lot this semester, and this week is no exception. This morning, the National Tax Association's Annual Meeting started in Boston. I am missing today's festivities because I have a class this afternoon. But in the evening I will be heading up there, as I'm scheduled to appear on two panels tomorrow and one more on Saturday morning.

Tomorrow at 8:30 am, I'll be presenting my recent paper, "The Crossroads and the Seesaw: Getting a 'Fix' on Recent International Tax Policy Developments," on an International Corporate Tax Policy panel that will also feature papers by Wei Cui, Jennifer Gravelle, and Harry Grubert-Rosanne Altshuler. Steve Shay will comment on my paper.

Then at 10 am, at a panel called Policymaking in the Face of Uncertainty, I will be commenting on the following 2 papers: (1) David Kamin, "In Good Times and Bad: Designing Legislation That Responds to Fiscal Uncertainty," and (2) Alan Auerbach, "Fiscal Uncertainty and How to Deal With It."

On Saturday at 8:30 am, at a panel called Fiscal Federalism, Multilateralism, and Tax Law Design, I'll be commenting on the following 2 papers: (1) David Gamage and Darien Shanske, "Fiscal Federalism from the Subnational Government Perspective: Tax Reform for the U.S. States," and (2) Itai Grinberg, "The New International Tax Diplomacy."

Certainly a diverse set of topics, if I do say so myself.  I have PowerPoint slides for all 3 of my talks, and will plan to post them here early next week.

Also at the NTA Conference, on Friday afternoon, there will be a session honoring the great Harvard law professor, retired by now of course, Bill Andrews.  This is a much-deserved honor.

I first met Bill in fall 1986, when I was at the University of Chicago Law School for a day of job interviews that culminated in my being hired there. (Luckily for my state of mind going into these interviews, I didn't learn until the following year that being interviewed at the U of C tended to mean something like a 10% chance of actually getting an offer.) On the plane from Washington, where I lived at the time, as I headed to the Chicago interview, I read Bill's classic article, Personal Deductions in an Ideal Income Tax. I didn't realize that he was visiting at Chicago that semester - I was just trying to expand my tax academic horizons, which at the time were a bit limited, and a colleague at the Joint Committee on Taxation had praised the article to me.

Quite a surprise to then meet him at Chicago, where (as a neophyte) I didn't have much more to say about it than that I had found it very interesting.  But it wasn't long before I knew a whole more about Bill's great contributions. He was also, as it happens, the third-ever speaker at the NYU Tax Policy Colloquium (in January 1996), where he very illuminatingly discussed the new view of corporate dividend taxation (also the topic of a really great short commentary that he wrote in this volume, which honors the work of David Bradford).

It will be great to see Bill again, and to see his work honored at the NTA.

More shortly on why I am calling the NTA session my almost-last work-related road trip of the year.

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