About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
Alumni and Giving
The global Trojan network of more than 10,000 law alumni and donors include recognized leaders in numerous fields who are deeply committed to supporting student and law school success.
- FACULTY DIRECTORY
- LECTURERS IN LAW DIRECTORY
- EXPERTS DIRECTORY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLICATIONS
- DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS
- + CENTERS AND INITIATIVES
- CENTER FOR LAW AND PHILOSOPHY (CLP)
- CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE (CLASS)
- CENTER FOR LAW, HISTORY AND CULTURE (CLHC)
- CENTER FOR TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND BUSINESS (CTLB)
- INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM INSTITUTE (IRI)
- PACIFIC CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY AND ETHICS
- SAKS INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW, POLICY, AND ETHICS
- WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of our beloved colleague and professor Edward Kleinbard. Ed was an important member of the Gould School of Law for more than a decade, was widely regarded as one of the finest tax scholars in the country, and was deeply respected as a passionate educator. View the dean’s message and read tributes to Ed in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and TaxNotes.
Edward D. Kleinbard is the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law at the USC's Gould School of Law, and a Fellow at The Century Foundation. Kleinbard was one of four individuals honored as 2016 International Tax Person of the Year by the nonpartisan policy organization Tax Analysts. He is the author of a book, We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money, published by Oxford U. Press. In reviewing the book, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston described it as "a masterpiece of tax, fiscal, and economic policy."
Kleinbard joined USC Gould in 2009. Before joining USC Law, Kleinbard served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation. The JCT Staff are the nonpartisan tax resource to Congress, helping legislators to formulate legislation, writing analyses of legislative proposals or tax issues of interest to the Congress, and estimating the revenue consequences of legislative proposals.
Kleinbard's work focuses on the taxation of capital income, international tax issues, and the political economy of taxation. Kleinbard's recent papers include Competitiveness Has Nothing to Do With It (Tax Notes), Stateless Income (Florida Tax Review), The Lessons of Stateless Income (Tax Law Review), Through a Latte Darkly: Starbucks's Stateless Income Planning (Tax Notes), The Better Base Case (Tax Notes), Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan (Tax Notes), and Tax Expenditure Framework Legislation (National Tax Journal). Kleinbard has testified before the Congress on tax policy matters, and has written opinion pieces for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Huffington Post, CNN.com, and other media outlets.
Prior to his appointment to the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, Kleinbard was for over 20 years a partner in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Kleinbard received his JD from Yale Law School, and his MA in History and BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Brown University.
To watch Kleinbard discuss his book and, more generally, fiscal policy, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdo0huuHx-I
For more information about the book and Kleinbard's scholarship, please visit: http://www.edwardkleinbard.com/
- "From Tax Policy to Social Insurance" January 2020 This presentation was delivered to the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association in January 2020. It first briefly reviews important current tax policy issues, and shows that the income tax has plenty of headroom to accommodate higher tax revenues: “Personal Income,” the government’s broadest measure of household income, is $6 trillion higher than aggregate Adjusted Gross Incomes. The presentation then pulls back its focus to poverty and middle class life. It argues that education is the engine of economic opportunity, but the United States dishonors the principle of equality of opportunity by its unique reliance on private (family) resources to fund education, particularly among the very young and post-secondary students. Doing more is feasible: the United States is a low-tax country to start, and investment in education yields “inclusive growth.” Efficiency concerns are systematically overstated in many instances, because those analyses do not consider the returns on government investment in education and other programs financed by taxes. Taxes may be carried in leaky buckets, but even a leaky bucket can put out a fire. Finally, the presentation pulls back still further to consider how one might reframe these issues around a unifying theme. It argues that existential bad luck — particularly, bad luck in the wealth of one’s parents — casts a disproportionately long shadow on American lives, and that insurance — understood as both product and metaphor — is the unifying theme that can tie together our responses. In this, the presentation hints at the agenda of my forthcoming book, What’s Luck Got To Do With It? - (SSRN)
"Critical Tax Thinking, " April 2019
Critical tax papers too often fixate on taxes as both the problem and the solution. When progressivity is the aim, public spending often is the better policy lever. Further, taxation does not impose an inexorable tradeoff between efficiency and equity goals. This again understates the importance of the spending side of things. Taxes are a necessary cost of funding spending, and spending in turncan have efficiency payoffs greater than the deadweight loss of taxation. That is, even a leaky bucket can extinguish a fire. Finally, the presentation urges that more work be done on the rhetoric of public finance economics. Both the structure and the vocabulary of standard presentations contained unexamined biases that color the outcomes of policy debates.
- "What's a Government Good for? Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality." Presented at University of Georgia 115th Sibley Lecture, February 5, 2018; ABA Section on Taxation 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, February 10, 2018. - (SSRN)
- "Perversion of the Tax Policymaking Process," January 29, 2018 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can be criticized on many substantive grounds, and for its effect on deficits. But the legislative process also revealed important shortcomings beyond its haste. Traditional tax policy metrics -- conventional revenue estimates, dynamic estimates and distributional analyses -- yield misleading results in a tax framework that loses over one trillion dollars. The result is that the legislation has even more deleterious welfare implications than these standard metrics suggest. - (SSRN)
- "Searching for our Fiscal Soul," TEDX Livermore, August 2016 This presentation is a slightly expanded version of a talk presented at TEDx Livermore 2016, the theme of which was Empathy and the Economy - (PDF)
- "Searching for our Fiscal Soul," TEDX Livermore, August 2016 - (www)
- "Corporate Tax Reform: A Dutch Uncle Speaks," Presentation to Stanford Directors' College, June 20, 2016 - (PDF)
- "Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality," March 2016 - (PDF)
- Federal Income Taxation, 18th ed. (Wolters Kluwer, 2019) (Coauthor with Joseph Bankman, Daniel Shaviro and Kirk Stark).
- We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014)
Articles and Book Chapters
- "The Impact of International Tax Reforms on Ireland," (with T. Matheson), in Ireland: Selected Issues (International Monetary Fund’s Country Report 18/195, June 2018) at p. 18. - (www)
- "What's a Government Good for? Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality, " USC CLASS Research Papers Series (February 5, 2018). - (SSRN)
- "Perversion of the Tax Policymaking Process," USC CLASS Research Papers Series (January 29, 2018). - (SSRN)
- "The Right Tax at the Right Time," 21 Florida Tax Review 208 (2017) - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Business Taxes Reinvented: A Term Sheet,” 156 Tax Notes 999 (2017). - (SSRN) - (PDF)
- "Capital Taxation in An Age of Inequality," 90 Southern California Law Review 593 (2017). - (SSRN) - (PDF)
- "The Trojan Horse of Corporate Integration," 152 Tax Notes 957 (2016) - (SSRN)
- "U.S. Corporate Income Tax Reform and its Spillovers" (with Kimberly Clausing and Thornton Matheson), IMF Working Paper No. 16/127 (July 2016) - (PDF)
- "Stateless Income And Its Remedies," in Global Tax Fairness (Thomas Pogge and Krishen Mehta, eds.). Oxford University Press (2016).
- "Why Corporate Tax Reform Can Happen," 146 Tax Notes 91 (2015). - (SSRN) - (PDF)
- "Competitiveness Has Nothing to Do With It," 144 Tax Notes 1055 (2014). - (SSRN)
- “Corporate Tax Reform, Business Tax Reform, or Capital Income Tax Reform?” 18 Chapman Law Review 1 (Fall 2014). - (Hein)
- In Praise of the Tax Policy Center's Microsimulation Model: A Comment on "Curbing Tax Expenditures," in Pathways to Fiscal Reform in the United States (John W. Diamond and George R. Zodrow, eds., 273-282). MIT Press (2014).
- "Through a Latte, Darkly: Starbucks’ Stateless Income Planning," 139 Tax Notes 1515 (2013). - (SSRN)
- "Corporate Capital and Labor Stuffing in the New Tax Rate Environment" (Mar. 26, 2013). - (SSRN)
- "Why Tax Revenues Must Rise" (Feb. 14, 2013). - (SSRN)
- “3 Cheers for Dave Champ,” 138 Tax Notes 619 (2013).
- "Stateless Income’s Challenge to Tax Policy, Part 2," 136 Tax Notes 1431 (2012). - (SSRN)
- "Paul Ryan’s Roadmap to Inequality," 136 Tax Notes 1195 (2012). - (SSRN)
- "The Better Base Case," 135 Tax Notes 1237 (2012) (with Joseph Rosenberg). - (SSRN)
- "The Lessons of Stateless Income," 65 Tax Law Review 99 (2011). - (SSRN)
- "Stateless Income," 11 Florida Tax Review 699 (2011). - (SSRN)
- "The Role of Tax Reform in Deficit Reduction," 133 Tax Notes 1105 (2011). - (SSRN)
- "Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan," 133 Tax Notes 469 (2011). - (SSRN)
- "Stateless Income’s Challenge to Tax Policy," 132 Tax Notes 1021 (2011). - (SSRN)
- "Constitutional Kreplach," 128 Tax Notes 755 (2010). - (SSRN)
- "Tax Expenditure Framework Legislation," 63 National Tax Journal 353 (June 2010). - (PDF)
- "An American Dual Income Tax: Nordic Precedents," 5 Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy 41 (2010). - (SSRN)
- "The Congress Within a Congress: How Tax Expenditures Distort Our Budget and Our Political Process," 36 Ohio Northern University Law Review 1 (2010) (publication version of the Fourteenth Annual Woodworth Lecture, delivered in Washington, DC). - (SSRN)
- “Where Can We Stand to Gain Perspective?, Toward Tax Reform: Recommendations for President Obama’s Task Force,” Tax Analysts (2009). - (PDF)
- "Systematic Underinvestment in Straddle Rules," 125 Tax Notes 1301 (December 21, 2009) (a compilation of invited essays, "Examining the Straddle Rules After 25 Years").
- “A Revenue Estimate Case Study: The Repatriation Holiday Revisited,” 120 Tax Notes 1191 (2008) (with Patrick Driessen).
- “Rethinking Tax Expenditures,” an address to the Chicago-Kent College of Law Federal Tax Institute (2008). - (www)
- “Rehabilitating the Business Income Tax,” The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution (2007). - (www)
- “Designing an Income Tax on Capital,” a chapter in Taxing Capital Income, The Urban Institute Press (2007).
- “Throw Territorial Taxation From the Train,” 114 Tax Notes 547 (2007).
- “A Holistic Approach to Business Tax Reform,” 114 Tax Notes 90 (2007).
- “Is It Time to Liquidate LIFO?” 113 Tax Notes 237 (2006) (with George A. Plesko and Corey M. Goodman).
- "IRS Should Release Schedules M-3, Not Entire Corporate Tax Returns," 106 Tax Notes 1485 (2006) (with Peter Canellos).
- "The Business Enterprise Income Tax: A Prospectus," 106 Tax Notes 97 (2005). - (SSRN)
- "Proposed Treasury Regulatiaons Offer Dealers and Traders Safe Harbor for Section 475 Mark-to-Market Valuations," 19 Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions 5 (September/October 2005). - (SSRN)
- “Taxing Convertible Debt: A Layman’s Perspective,” 56 S.M.U. Law Review 453 (2003). - (Hein)
- “Competitive Convergence in the Financial Service Markets,” 81 Taxes 225 (2003). - (Hein)
- “Disclosing Book-Tax Differences,” 96 Tax Notes 999 (2002) (with Peter C. Canellos).
- “Contingent Interest Convertible Bonds and the Economic Accrual Regime,” 95 Tax Notes 1949 (2002) (with Erika W. Nijenhuis and William L. McRae).
- “A Short Course in Valuing Derivatives,” 94 Tax Notes 380 (2002).
- "Some Thoughts on Market Valuation of Derivatives," 91 Tax Notes 1173 (2001).
- “The U.S. Taxation of Equity Derivative Instruments,” Chapter 24 in The Handbook of Equity Derivatives. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000.
- “Everything I Know About New Financial Products I Learned From DECS, Practicing Law Institute,” Tax Law and Practice Course Handbook Series #457 (1999 and following years) (with Erika W. Nijenhuis).
- “Corporate Tax Shelters and Corporate Tax Management,” 51 The Tax Executive 231 (1999). - (Hein)
- “The Role of Mark-to-Market Accounting in a Realization-Based Tax System,” 75 Taxes 788 (1997) (with Thomas L. Evans). - (Hein)
- "Final Tax Regulations Governing Contingent Payment Debt Obligations," 72 Tax Notes 499 (1996).
- “Short Sales and Short Sale Principles in Contemporary Applications,” Chapter 17 in N.Y.U. Fifty-Third Institute on Federal Taxation. New York: Matthew Bender, 1995 (with Erika W. Nijenhuis).
- “Risky and Riskless Positions in Securities,” 71 Taxes 12 (1993).
- “Equity Derivative Products: Financial Innovation’s Newest Challenge to the Tax System,” 69 Texas Law Review 6 (1991). - (Hein)
- “Beyond Good and Evil Debt (And Debt Hedges): A Cost of Capital Allowance System,” 67 Taxes 12 (1989). - (Hein)
- “Business Hedges After Arkansas Best,” 43 Tax Law Review 393 (1988) (with Suzanne F. Greenberg). - (Hein)
- “The Miracle of Compound Interest: Interest Deferral and Discount After 1982,” 38 Tax Law Review 4 (1983) (with Peter C. Canellos). - (Hein)
- U.S. Congress. House Committee on Ways and Means. International Tax Reform Begins at Home. Hearings, 114 Cong., 2d sess. February 24, 2016. - (PDF)
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Edward McCaffery wrote an op-ed suggesting that President Trump's tax avoidance, which was recently uncovered by The New York Times, tells a greater story of debt and desperation. "For the whole time he has been living rent free in the White House, Trump has been a desperate man, facing massive debts and looking for someone else to pay them off," he wrote.
"Lessons from Luckin Coffee: The Underappreciated Risks of Variable Interest Entities," Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, July 28, 2020.
"Big is not necessarily bad," The Hill, July 30, 2020.
“The Death of the Income Tax (or, The Rise of America's Universal Wage Tax),” Indiana Law Journal 95 (2020): 1233.