Taxing Ourselves, 5e

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes

by Slemrod, Bakija

ISBN: 9780262363921 | Copyright 2017

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Contents (pg. v)
Preface (pg. vii)
1 Introduction (pg. 1)
Complaints about the Current Tax System (pg. 6)
A Different Way to Tax (pg. 10)
Objections to Radical Reform (pg. 11)
Changes in the Context of the Current System (pg. 13)
The Need for Objective Analysis (pg. 13)
What’s in This Citizen’s Guide? (pg. 14)
2 An Overview of the U.S. Tax System (pg. 15)
How Governments in the United States Get Their Money (pg. 15)
International Comparisons (pg. 17)
Historical Perspectives on the U.S. Tax System (pg. 19)
Income Taxation (pg. 28)
Social Security and Medicare Taxes (pg. 66)
Estate and Gift Taxes (pg. 68)
Recent Changes in Tax Law and the Outlook for Tax Policy in the United States (pg. 68)
Conclusion (pg. 83)
3 Fairness (pg. 85)
Vertical Equity and Tax Progressivity (pg. 88)
Horizontal Equity: Equal Treatment of Equals (pg. 133)
Misleading Inequity (pg. 136)
Transitional Equity (pg. 142)
Conclusion (pg. 144)
4 Taxes and Economic Prosperity (pg. 145)
Short-Run Economic Fluctuations (pg. 147)
Budget Deficits and Surpluses (pg. 158)
How Much Should Government Do? (pg. 161)
Tax Cuts to Force Spending Cuts versus Surpluses to Prepare for an Aging Population (pg. 164)
How Taxes Affect Long-Run Economic Prosperity: A First Cut at the Evidence (pg. 168)
How Taxes Affect Economic Prosperity: The Specifics (pg. 177)
Conclusion (pg. 227)
5 Simplicity and Enforceability (pg. 229)
How Complicated Is Our Tax System? (pg. 229)
What Makes a Tax System Complicated? (pg. 237)
Tax Evasion, Avoidance, and Enforcement (pg. 250)
Conclusion (pg. 286)
6 Elements of Fundamental Reform (pg. 289)
A Single Rate (pg. 290)
A Consumption Base (pg. 295)
A Clean Tax Base (pg. 315)
Conclusion (pg. 348)
7 Consumption Tax Alternatives (pg. 349)
How the Consumption Tax Plans Work (pg. 350)
At What Rate? (pg. 358)
Simplicity and Enforceability of the Consumption Tax Plans (pg. 363)
Distributional Effects of the Consumption Tax Alternatives (pg. 372)
Conclusion (pg. 388)
8 Starting from Here (pg. 391)
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (pg. 392)
Bush, Clinton, and Bush (pg. 395)
The President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform (pg. 396)
Wyden-Gregg (pg. 399)
Obama Deficit Commission (pg. 399)
The Domenici-Rivlin plan (pg. 400)
The Lee-Rubio Plan (pg. 401)
The People’s Budget and Bernie Sanders’ Tax Plan (pg. 402)
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Campaign Tax Proposals (pg. 404)
Other Alternatives (pg. 405)
Tax at the Crossroads of Economic Policy (pg. 408)
Conclusion (pg. 409)
9 A Voter’s Guide to the Tax Policy Debate (pg. 411)
Tax Cuts versus Tax Reform (pg. 411)
Tax Cuts as a Trojan Horse (pg. 412)
The Devil Is in the Details (pg. 412)
The Tax System Can’t Encourage Everything (pg. 413)
Fairness Is a Slippery Concept, But an Important One (pg. 413)
Be Skeptical of Claims of Economic Nirvana (pg. 413)
The Tax System Can Be Improved (pg. 414)
Notes (pg. 417)
Preface (pg. 417)
Chapter 1 (pg. 417)
Chapter 2 (pg. 419)
Chapter 3 (pg. 429)
Chapter 4 (pg. 438)
Chapter 5 (pg. 447)
Chapter 6 (pg. 456)
Chapter 7 (pg. 464)
Chapter 8 (pg. 469)
Chapter 9 (pg. 470)
References (pg. 471)
Index (pg. 523)

Joel Slemrod

Joel Slemrod is Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy and Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, where he is also Director of the Office of Tax Policy Research.

Jon Bakija

Jon Bakija is Professor of Economics at Williams College.

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