The book addresses annual and lifetime distributional effects, saving, investment, transitional problems, simplification, home ownership and housing prices, charitable groups, international taxation, financial intermediaries and insurance, labor supply, and health insurance.
In addition to Henry Aaron and William Gale, the contributors include Alan Auerbach, University of California, Berkeley; David Bradford, Princeton University; Charles Clotfelter, Duke University; Eric Engen, Federal Reserve; Don Fullerton, University of Texas; Jon Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Patric Hendershott, Ohio State; David Ling, University of Florida; Ronald Perlman, Covington & Burling; Diane Lim Rogers, Congressional Budget Office; John Karl Scholz, University of Wisconsin; Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan; and Robert Triest, University of California, Davis.
In addition to clarifying the problems that must be solved if large-scale, long-term reform is to be achieved, the authors describe alternative strategies for increasing revenues quickly. They also present their own program for a fair, efficient, and less complex tax structure. They conclude with an examination of the political pitfalls that continue to make any major improvements in the tax system hard to enact.
James C. Tanner, a certified public accountant with more than four decades of experience, explores how we can: • Create a fair and logical tax framework by rethinking income exclusions, exemptions, deductions, credits, tax brackets, capital gains, and other tax alternatives; • reform tax expenditures, including health insurance and medical costs, home mortgage and other interest deductions, retirement plan deductions, charitable donations, and capital gains on assets sold and transferred; • lower the tax rates for most individual and corporate taxpayers while making our US companies more competitive with their foreign counterparts.
Tanner also outlines how historical decisions and legislative proposals led to our current tax laws under the premise that we can’t fix them without understanding why they were created in the first place.
For those who want to participate in the national debate on federal tax reform, it begins with a firm understanding of the system and the practical proposals in Tax Reform with the 20/20 Tax.
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. By tracing the history of our own tax system and assessing the way other countries have solved similar problems, Bruce Bartlett explores the surprising answers to all these issues, giving a sense of the tax code’s many benefits—and its inevitable burdens. From one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time, The Benefit and the Burden is a thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform.