The Benefit and the Burden

The Benefit and the Burden

Tax Reform--why We Need It and What It Will Take

Book - 2012
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A spirited and insightful examination of the need for American tax reform--arguably the most overdue political debate facing the nation--from one of the most legendary political thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time.

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 undergone no serious reform 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? Of the various ideas proposed by economists and politicians--from tax increases to tax cuts, from a VAT to a Fair Tax--what will work and won't? 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. Growing budget deficits and the expiration of various tax cuts loom. Reform, once a philosophical dilemma, is turning into a practical crisis. 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.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781451646191
1451646194
9781451646252
1451646259
Characteristics: xiii, 271 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

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binational
Jun 18, 2012

A balanced examination of the US tax system, with global comparisons, and the pros and cons of particular tax deductions and credits, and ideas for tax reform. Debunks a lot of myths. I learned a lot from this book.

johnf108 May 04, 2012

This is a very good book about where the taxes come from and where they go to.
The writer does what a good writer should do---he tries to present both sides of the arguments even when they disagree with his own political theory [he starts out telling his biases].
He also deals with the history of taxes, how tax laws are changed and proposals for changing taxes [amounts and types].

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