Taxing Ourselves, 4th Edition: A Citizen’s Guide to the Debate over Taxes

The fourth edition of a popular guide to the key issues in tax reform, discussing the current system and alternative proposals clearly and without a political agenda. 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

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The fourth edition of a popular guide to the key issues in tax reform, discussing the current system and alternative proposals clearly and without a political agenda.

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? Authors and 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.

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  • Taxing Ourselves A Citizen s Guide to the Debate over Taxes

Comments

Dan says:

Great layman’s introduction to taxes I used this book as a text for a masters-level tax policy class taught by the author, Joel Slemrod. Don’t let this mislead you, the book is not written as a text, you will not find many graphs if any, and the language is clear and concise. The title tells you what it is: a citizen’s guide. 

Austin says:

Want the Facts? Search no further. In an age where politicians spout off figures left and right that clearly contradict “the other side”, being informed about the FACTS is essential. This book is exactly that. It is very fair, and unbiased — it doesn’t start from a political position and interpret the facts through that lense. Rather it attempts to take a thorough look at the tax system, and examine the economics of it before drawing any political conclusion. An impressive piece of work.

Me says:

Great information! After reading this, I have quite an insight into how our tax policy is conducted and how it affects us tax payers. Believe it or not, I felt somewhat powerful when finishing reading this due to the fact that it tells you how the tax policy works and introduces different alternatives to our current tax policy. Knowledge truly is power.

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