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Slemrod, Joel
Taxing ourselves : a citizen's guide to the debate over taxes / Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija
Alternate Title Citizen's guide to the debate over taxes
4th ed
Cambridge, Mass. ; London : MIT Press, c2008
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  HJ4652 .S528 2008    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Income tax -- United States
Taxation -- United States
Physical Description xii, 382 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Note Previous ed.: 2004
Includes bibliographical references (p. [343]-363) and index
Contents Preface -- 1. Introduction -- Complaints about the current tax system -- A different way to tax -- Objections to radical reform -- Changes in the context of the current system -- The need for objective analysis -- What's in this citizen's guide -- 2. An overview of the U.S. tax system -- How governments in the United States get their money -- International comparisons -- Historical perspectives on the U.S. tax system -- Personal income taxation -- Basic features of the U.S. corporate income tax -- The Social Security payroll tax -- Estate and gift taxes -- Conclusion -- 3. Fairness -- Vertical equity and tax progressivity -- Horizontal equity : equal treatment of equals -- Transitional equity -- Conclusion -- 4. Taxes and economic prosperity -- Taxes and the business cycle -- Budget deficits and surpluses -- How much should government do? -- Tax cuts to force spending cuts versus surpluses to prepare for an aging population -- How taxes affect long-run economic prosperity : a first cut at the evidence -- How taxes affect economic prosperity : the specifics -- Conclusion --
5. Simplicity and enforceability -- How complicated is our tax system? -- What makes a tax system complicated? -- What facilitates enforcement? -- Conclusion -- 6. Elements of fundamental reform -- A single rate -- A consumption base -- A clean tax base -- Conclusion -- 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 -- Conclusion -- 8. Starting from here -- Integration : eliminating the double taxation of corporate income -- Corporate welfare and corporate tax shelters -- Inflation indexing -- Capital gains -- Savings incentives in the income tax -- The estate tax -- Simplifying the income tax -- Technological improvements and the promise of a return-free system -- The President's advisory panel on federal tax reform -- A hybrid approach : combining a VAT with income taxation -- Conclusion --
9. A voter's guide to the tax policy debate -- Tax cuts versus tax reform -- Tax cuts as a Trojan horse -- The devil is in the details -- The tax system can't encourage everything -- Fairness is a slippery concept but an important one -- Be skeptical of claims of economic nirvana -- The tax system can be improved -- 2010 : A double witching hour -- Notes -- References -- Index
Preface -- 1: Introduction -- Complaints about the current tax system -- Different way to tax -- Objections to radical reform -- Changes in the context of the current system -- Need for objective analysis -- What's in this citizen's guide -- 2: Overview Of The US Tax System -- How governments in the United States get their money -- International comparisons -- Historical perspectives on the US tax system -- Personal income taxation -- Basic features of the US corporate income tax -- Social Security payroll tax -- Estate and gift taxes -- Conclusion -- 3: Fairness -- Vertical equity and tax progressivity -- Horizontal equity: equal treatment of equals -- Transitional equity -- Conclusion -- 4: Taxes And Economic Prosperity -- Taxes and the business cycle -- Budget deficits and surpluses -- How much should government do? -- Tax cuts to force spending cuts versus surpluses to prepare for an aging population -- How taxes affect long-run economic prosperity: a first cut at the evidence -- How taxes affect economic prosperity: the specifics -- Conclusion --
5: Simplicity And Enforceability -- How complicated is our tax system? -- What makes a tax system complicated? -- What facilitates enforcement? -- Conclusion -- 6: Elements Of Fundamental Reform -- Single rate -- Consumption base -- Clean tax base -- Conclusion -- 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 -- Conclusion -- 8: Starting From Here -- Integration: eliminating the double taxation of corporate -- Income -- Corporate welfare and corporate tax shelters -- Inflation indexing -- Capital gains -- Savings incentives in the income tax -- Estate tax -- Simplifying the income tax -- Technological improvements and the promise of a return-free system -- President's advisory panel on federal tax reform -- Hybrid approach: combining a VAT with income taxation -- Conclusion -- 9: Voter's Guide To The Tax Policy Debate -- Tax cuts versus tax reform -- Tax cuts as a Trojan horse -- Devil is in the details -- Tax system can't encourage everything -- Fairness is a slippery concept but an important one -- Be skeptical of claims of economic nirvana -- Tax system can be improved -- 2010: a double witching hour -- Notes -- References -- Index
Summary From the Publisher: As Albert Einstein may or may not have said, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." Indeed, to follow the debate over tax reform, the interested citizen is forced to choose between misleading sound bites and academic treatises. Taxing Ourselves bridges the gap between the two by discussing the key issues clearly and without a political agenda: Should the federal income tax be replaced with a flat tax or sales tax? Should it be left in place and reformed? Can tax cuts stimulate the economy, or will higher deficits undermine any economic benefit? Tax policy experts Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija lay out in accessible language what is known and not known about how taxes affect the economy, offer guidelines for evaluating tax systems, and provide enough information to assess both the current income tax system and the leading proposals to reform or replace it (including the flat tax and the consumption tax). The fourth edition of this popular guide has been extensively revised to incorporate the latest information, covering such recent developments as the Bush administration's tax cuts (which expire in 2011) and the alternatives proposed by the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. Slemrod and Bakija provide us with the knowledge and the tools-including an invaluable voter's guide to the tax policy debate-to make our own informed choices about how we should tax ourselves
Alternate Author Bakija, Jon M

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