U.S. debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has risen from 35% in 2008 to 105% today. Our nation and the world are facing a global pandemic that has required historic stimulus spending to buoy up households and firms. In this environment, the United States faces two very different choices in the 2020 presidential election. At this virtual Roundtable Dialogue, Richard Evans, the Baker Institute advisory board visiting fellow for the Center for Public Finance, gave a description of the predicted effects of candidate Joe Biden’s proposed tax plans and compared those with the potential plans of the Trump administration, though his campaign has yet to release a specific fiscal and economic plan. Evans also discussed the feasibility of economic growth as a solution to the U.S. debt imbalance in lieu of tax increases and/or spending cuts. Evans concluded with a discussion of the value of transparency and open models in evaluating public policy.
Roundtable Dialogues are informal, member-exclusive discussions with Baker Institute experts on current events, politics and policy. These thought-provoking conversations provide insights into issues that affect Houston, the state and the nation.
If you are interested in attending future dialogues, please contact our development office at email@example.com or 713.348.4945 for information on becoming a Roundtable member or renewing your membership.
12:00 p.m. — Presentation
12:30 p.m. — Q&A
This webinar was free and open to members of the Baker Institute Roundtable with the link included in their email invitation.
Richard Evans is the Baker Institute advisory board visiting fellow for the Center for Public Finance. He also holds appointments as director of the Open Source Economics Laboratory, nonresident fellow at the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute, president of Open Research Group, Inc., and senior editor at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. Evans specializes in macroeconomics, public economics and computational economics. He was previously associate director and senior lecturer in the M.A. Program in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago from 2016 to 2020 and a fellow at the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago from 2016 to 2019. He was the co-founder and co-director of the BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory at Brigham Young University from 2012 to 2016, and assistant professor in the BYU Economics Department from 2008 to 2016. After receiving a B.A. in economics from Brigham Young University in 1998, he began his economic career as a research economist at Thredgold Economic Associates in Salt Lake City, providing state and national economic analysis for Zions Bank and their operations in eight western states. Evans later received an M.A. in public policy from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He has also spent time as a researcher at the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Utah Economic Council, and as an economic consultant. His current research focuses on building large-scale, open-source, dynamic general equilibrium macroeconomic models of tax policy and providing web applications and training to allow non-experts to use these models for policy analysis. Evans is a core maintainer of the OG-USA open source large-scale overlapping generations macroeconomic model of U.S. fiscal policy, and has provided macroeconomic modeling consulting services to the European Commission, World Bank and India's Ministry of Finance.