Benefit and the Burden Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take

ISBN-10: 1451646259

ISBN-13: 9781451646252

Edition: 2012

Authors: Bruce Bartlett

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A thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform, arguably the most overdue political debate facing the nation, from one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time.The United States Tax Code has not been seriously reformed since 1986. Since then, loopholes, exemptions, credits, and deductions have distorted its clarity, increased its inequity, and frustrated our ability to govern ourselves.     At its core, any tax system is in place to raise the revenue needed to pay the government’s bills. But where that revenue should come from raises crucial questions: Should our tax code be progressive, with the wealthier paying more than the poor, and if so, to what extent? Should we tax income or consumption or both? By tracing the history of our own tax system and by assessing the way other countries have solved similar problems, Bartlett explores the surprising answers to all of these questions, giving a sense of the tax code’s many benefits—and its inevitable burdens.     Tax reform will be a major issue debated in the years ahead. By framing the various tax philosophies that dominate the debate, Bartlett explores the distributional, technical, and political advantages and costs of the various proposals and ideas that will come to dominate America’s political conversation in the years to come.
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Book details

List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 1/29/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

The Basics
A Brief History of Federal Income Taxation
How a Tax Bill Is Made
The Definition of Income
How to Understand Tax Rates
The Relationship Between Tax Rates and Tax Revenues
How Taxes Affect Economic Growth
The Question of Progressivity
Taxes and the Business Cycle
How Other Countries Tax Themselves
Some Problems
Spending Through the Tax Code
Taxes and the Health System
Tax Preferences for Housing
How Federal Taxes Affect the States
The Problem of Charitable Contributions
The Problem of Taxing Capital Gains
Some Unresolved Issues in the Taxation of Corporations
The Problem of Tax Administration
The Future
The History of Tax Reform
The Pros and Cons of Popular Tax Reform Proposals
The Need for More Revenue
The Case for a Value-Added Tax
The Case Against a Value-Added Tax
What Should Be Done About the Bush Tax Cuts?
If Tax Reform Happens, It Will Be Because Grover Norquist Permits It
Additional Readings
Federal Revenues and Outlays as a Share of GDP
Lowest and Highest Federal Income Tax Rates
The Personal Exemption
Average and Marginal Federal Income Tax Rate's
Capital Gains and Taxes Paid on Capital Gains
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