Fiscal and Economic Policy in Washington DC

02 November 2011

Chye-Ching Huang graduated in 2005 LLB(Hons)/BCom, and received an LLM from Columbia Law School as a Fulbright Scholar, Sir Wallace Rowling Scholar, and James Kent Scholar. She has practised as a Tax Solicitor at Chapman Tripp and worked as a Research Associate at the New Zealand Institute. She was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law at the University of Auckland Business School in 2009, and is currently with the Center on Budget and Policy. She writes:

Last week, I saw advertised a “tax analyst” job with the Central Intelligence Agency. Even non-tax lawyers might admit that sounds like it could be exciting, so when I was asked to write a note explaining what I do as a Tax Policy Analyst in Washington DC, I regretted a little that I work for a non-partisan think tank and not the CIA. Nevertheless, working on fiscal and economic policy in DC is exciting, particularly now. In the eight weeks that I have been back in Washington DC (after an earlier stint in 2008-2009), I have worked on issues related to: the debt ceiling crisis, the policy options available to the Joint Congressional “Supercommittee” for deficit reduction, the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution, US corporate and international tax reform, fiscal stimulus, and proposals aired during the start of the Presidential election campaign.

Tax and fiscal policy problems are puzzles of public law, private law, tax law, and economics. For example, the Republican proposal to amend the US Constitution to require balanced budgets implicates constitutional law and theory, and also tax law and fiscal policy. Treasury Secretary Geithner's proposal to tax more stringently certain corporate forms is about tax, and also about corporate law and governance. The diversity of my work makes me very grateful for the training I received at the Faculty of Law, because that training allows me to work confidently across a range of legal disciplines. I am also very grateful to the many Faculty members who have encouraged and guided my efforts to develop a career as both an academic and “policy wonk.”