Unpacking Opportunity Zones tax havens

An affordable housing development is under construction in an area of Los Angeles deemed an opportunity zone. Handout photo by Martin Cuellar/SoLa Impact.

David Wessel, a senior fellow and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings, is author of the new book “Only the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age,” published by Public Affairs, which tells the story of how a Silicon Valley entrepreneur developed an idea intended to help poor people that will save rich people money on their taxes. Wessel relates in his book how the tax break, passed into law in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, led to the creation of over eight thousand tax havens across the U.S. called Opportunity Zones.

This episode of the Brookings Cafeteria presents part of a recent Brookings live event during which Wessel and other experts discussed the book and the Opportunity Zone experience on the ground. Here, Wessel is interviewed by New York Times White House correspondent Jim Tankersley about “Only the Rich Can Play.” Listen and watch the entire event here, or also subscribe to the Brookings events podcast channel.

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The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the Brookings Podcast Network.