Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate Over Tax Reform

Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate Over Tax Reform

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Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate Over Tax Reform by Joel Slemroad, Jon Bakija

"Taxing Ourselves is one of the best books on taxation I have ever read. Not only is it accessible to a general audience, but it also has much to teach experts in the field."
-- Bruce Bartlett, The Wall Street Journal
Who should pay taxes, how should they be collected, and how do they affect the economy? Should the income tax be tinkered with, replaced with a flat tax, or left alone? Cutting through the academic jargon and self-serving Washington-speak, Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija bring together all of the data, analytical insight, and related material bearing on tax reform to explore the fundamental questions and choices inherent in tax policymaking. They review the key elements of fundamental tax reform proposals, including a single rate, a clean base, and a consumption base. Then they take a detailed look at the major alternatives for tax reform, providing concise guidelines that will make clear the choices involved in tax policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262692083
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 01/01/1998
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 299
Product dimensions: 5.78(w) x 8.73(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Part I
1 Introduction
Complaints About the Current Income TaX System
Haven't We Heard This Before?
Promises About Alternative TaX Systems
Objections to Radical Reform
FiXing the EXisting Income TaX
The Need for "Objective" Analysis
What's Ahead
2 An Overview fo the U.S. TaX System
How Governments in the United States Get Their Money
International Comparisons
Historical Perspectives on the U.S. TaX System
Basic Features of the U.S. Personal Income TaX
Basic Features of the U.S. Corporate Income TaX
Part II
3 Fairness
Vertical Equity
Horizontal Equity Equal Treatment of Equals
Transitional Equity
4 TaXes and Economic Prosperity
Separate but Important Issues
How TaXes Affect LongRun Economic Prosperity: A First Cut at the
How TaXes Affect Economic Prosperity The Specifics
Disputed Issues at the Heart of the Public Debate
5 Simplicity and Enforceability
How Complicated Is Our TaX System?
What Makes a TaX System Complicated?
Evasion and Enforcement
What Makes TaXation Difficult to Enforce?
Part III
6 Elements of Fundamental Reform
A Single Rate
A Consumption Base
A Clean TaX Base
7 What Are the Alternatives?
How the Consumption TaX Plans Work
At What Rate?
Simplicity and Enforceability of the Consumption TaX Plans
Distributional Effects of the Consumption TaX Alternatives
Economic Effects of Consumption TaX Plans
8 Building a Better Income TaX
Base Cleaning
Integration: Eliminating the Double TaXation of CorporateIncome
Inflation IndeXing
"Corporate Welfare"
Capital Gains
Savings Incentives in the Income TaX
Eliminating CompleX Provisions Aimed at the Perception of Fairness
Process Improvements
A SingleRate Income TaX
The Gephardt "10% TaX"
A Hybrid Approach: Combining a VAT with Income TaXation
9 A Voter's Guide to the TaX Policy Debate

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