Open Source Policy Center

The Open Source Policy Center (OSPC) is the newest initiative from The American Enterprise Institute and hopes to usher in a new era of government transparency… one that forces transparency both of what has been done, and also predictions for the future.

Along those lines, the first OSPC initiative has launched into beta testing and should be publicly available by the summer. TaxBrain is one of the most complex pieces of software for predicting national tax outcomes. Unlike algorithms built previously to serve a group of 6 or 10 super-accountants in the basement of the Senate Office building, TaxBrain is easy-to-use and fully web-based. Users can jump on the platform and see all major tax reform plans and proposals with outcomes for the next ten years. Want to try your hand? Just jump on and tweak the numbers or start from scratch and share your findings with the world.

We can’t take any credit for the work of the tax super-brains on this project, but we had challenge enough: How do you take the complexity of U.S. tax law, and make it feel approachable to both the tax expert and the interested citizen? We worked through a great UI and built wireframes. We exhausted the sketchpad and whiteboard, and eventually landed on an experience that is simpler than even TurboTax.

Best yet, we created a brand and identity for both OSPC and TaxBrain that is friendly to users and developers from any walk of life. We’re currently working to build both brands out to the next phase and are sure we’ll be working with AEI for years to come on these projects.