Gift Guide

America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? [NOOK Book]


A disturbing, eye-opening look at a tax system gone out of control.

Originally designed to spread the cost of government fairly, our tax code has turned into a gold mine of loopholes and giveaways manipulated by the influential and wealthy for their own benefit. If you feel as if the tax laws are rigged ...
See more details below
America: Who Really Pays the Taxes?

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99 price


A disturbing, eye-opening look at a tax system gone out of control.

Originally designed to spread the cost of government fairly, our tax code has turned into a gold mine of loopholes and giveaways manipulated by the influential and wealthy for their own benefit. If you feel as if the tax laws are rigged against the average taxpayer, you're right:

Middle-income taxpayers pick up a growing share of the nation’s tax bill, while our most profitable corporations pay little or nothing.

Your tax status is affected more by how many lawyers and lobbyists you can afford than by your resources or needs.

Our best-known and most successful companies pay more taxes to foreign governments than to our own.

Cities and states start bidding wars to attract business through tax breaks—taxes made up for by the American taxpayer.

Who really pays the taxes? Barlett and Stelle, authors of the bestselling America: What Went Wrong?, offer a graphic exposé of what’s wrong with our tax system, how it got that way, and how to fix it.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the bestselling America: What Went Wrong? now offer a book that probes the current scandal of the American tax system and shows in detail the inequities that run through federal, state, and local taxation. Filled with real stories of real people who are getting rich from the system, those who are helping them, and those who are footing the bill.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For readers who have ever had the sneaking suspicion that they're being shafted, the latest book from this Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team ( America: What Went Wrong? ) provides the facts, figures, names and anecdotes to prove it. Their goal is to show how all those abstract terms bandied about on the Sunday morning talk shows affect the average taxpayer, particularly anyone whose family income is between, say, $25,000 and $150,000. Wealthy individuals squirrel away money through tax-free bonds, charitable-donations deductions and racehorses, among other write-offs; and the wealthiest corporations benefit from foreign tax credits, deductions for estimated worth of brand names and even the writing-off of interest on loans taken out to pay their stockholders (Weren't stockholders supposed to share both profits and losses?). All of which, the authors note with jackhammer regularity, leaves Joe and Jane Shmoe holding the tab. The authors are bipartisan in their apportionment of blame, rounding up not only the usual Republican presidential suspects but also Democrats like LBJ (whose ``unified budget'' amounted to a grand-scale doctoring of the books), Dan Rostenkowski (superannuated Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) and even independent Ross Perot (whose tax-free income in 1991 was somewhere between $18 and $87 million). Their ``modest proposal'' on reforming the tax system is indeed that: one based largely on eliminating deductions and making all income--no matter how earned--equally taxable. Barlett and Steele's greatest achievement, though, is to have painstakingly translated mountains of often deliberately obscure material, thereby making their book a dream for those who've never quite grasped what government, corporations and the wealthiest few are doing--and a nightmare for those who have and want to keep that knowledge to themselves. (Mar.)
Ray Olson
"Us middle-class schlemiels, that's who!" But that answer to the title's question is not all that informative, so Barlett and Steele, tax reporters for 25 years and authors of the 1992 bestseller, "America: What Went Wrong?", tell us who doesn't pay and how they don't. Two systems of taxation have developed in the U.S. since the 1950s, they say, one for wealthy individuals and corporations, the other for everybody else. In the six subsequent chapters, they prove two-tiered taxation's a fact by discussing one rich stiff's tax dodge after another, from preferential capital gains rates to multinational corporate transfer-pricing to the tax court system, and they demonstrate that to those responsible for tax law (guys named Rostenkowski, Dole, Gephardt, etc.) money doesn't talk, it orders. After all the dismaying federal news, Barlett and Steele tell us about "The Unfairest Taxes of All": local and state government levies (on real estate, sales, income, etc.), which, driven by federal mandates upon states and municipalities, have risen faster and more inequitably than federal taxes. Barlett and Steele maintain fair taxation is a real possibility, and they make a serious "Modest Proposal" for reform that eventually, but hardly exclusively, does indeed depend upon real modesty, i.e., spending cuts. But popular political shoving will be necessary to achieve tax fairness. Superb investigative journalism.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439129159
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Where Did All the Money Go? 13
Ch. 2 The Tax War You Lost 58
Ch. 3 Why You Pay More 95
Ch. 4 Why Corporations Pay Less 137
Ch. 5 Foreign Tax Breaks 174
Ch. 6 The Revolving Door 213
Ch. 7 America's Most Unproductive Industry 248
Ch. 8 The Unfairest Taxes of All 282
Ch. 9 Can It Be Fixed? 329
Notes on Sources 345
Index 363
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)