Nonpartisan research office pressed to disclose story behind withdrawn tax study

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. sent a letter asking when the report will be reposted and whether a congressional staff member had asked CRS to withdraw it. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. sent a letter asking when the report will be reposted and whether a congressional staff member had asked CRS to withdraw it. Harry Hamburg/AP file photo

House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., is pressing the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service to clarify the status of a recently withdrawn study of the economic impact of taxation on the wealthy.

In October, CRS managers responded to objections from Republican senators and temporarily withdrew a study released in September titled, “Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945.” Republican critics objected to the study’s tone and conclusions that cutting taxes on the wealthy does little to spur economic growth.

In an exchange of letters during the past two weeks with CRS Director Mary Mazanec, Levin asked when the report will be reposted and whether a congressional staff member had asked CRS to withdraw it.

Mazanec replied that “the report would benefit from more extensive documentation and explanation of the methodology underlying the economic analysis.” She said CRS alone made the decision to withdraw and update the report, and her service would not make such a decision solely at the request of one lawmaker or congressional staffer.

“We would quickly lose our value as an adviser to all members [of Congress] and staff if we were seen as having an agenda or bowing to partisan pressure,” she wrote. The updated version, she added, will be on the CRS website “shortly.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.