Phineas Baxandall

Senior Analyst & Advocacy Director

Phineas Baxandall is a Senior Analyst & Advocacy Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, focusing his research on transportation and tax revenue, as well as unemployment and EITC. He also serves as strategist and point person on MassBudget’s advocacy efforts.

Before joining MassBudget, Phineas directed the Transportation and Tax & Budget programs for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and its network of 30 state affiliate organizations.

Prior to his work with U.S. PIRG, Phineas was Assistant Director at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was a teaching fellow for eight years at Harvard’s Committee for Degrees in Social Studies, where he lectured on social policy and political economy. He has published on a variety of topics in political economy and public policy, and his 2004 book, Constructing Unemployment, was recently republished by Routledge press.

Phineas earned a Ph.D. from MIT in Political Science and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Recent

Options to Adjust the Estate Tax While Retaining Revenue and Progressivity

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center was asked to outline options for changes to the estate tax that would preserve revenue, maintain progressivity, and also cut taxes on or exempt estates with a taxable value up to around $1.2 million. Since households subject to the estate tax are among the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, any reductions to revenue from the estate tax represent a transfer of wealth from the Commonwealth to its wealthiest families. Even so, some options are better than others.

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Investing in Transportation Can Help Massachusetts

This one-page summary of a longer report outlines how Massachusetts has underinvested in its transportation infrastructure, and greater investment can improve the economy, equity, and the environment.

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Earth Day is a Time to Consider Better Responses to High Gas Prices: Free Public Transit and Other Ideas

Higher gas prices are causing anxiety for many and are eating away at the meager incomes of low- and moderate-income families. Politicians are promoting a number of ideas to provide consumers with some relief. A very popular idea—a gas tax holiday—is a bad idea.

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