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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262195737 | 400 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 12 figures, 11 tables| February 2008
Paperback | $27.95 Trade | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780262693639 | 400 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 12 figures, 11 tables| February 2008

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Taxing Ourselves, fourth edition

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes


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.

About the Author

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


Praise for earlier editions:
"An excellent book.", Jeff Madrick, New York Times

Praise for earlier editions:
"A fair-minded exposition of a politically loaded subject."—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for earlier editions:
"This truly splendid book effectively outlines most issues related to a major topic of concern today. Tax policy and options for badly needed tax reform are thoroughly and engagingly dealt with by mixing serious debate with supporting anecdotes. The book is well written and carefully argued.", E. D. Craig, Choice

"Citizens should read Taxing Ourselves before casting their votes in local, state, and national elections. Politicians should read Taxing Ourselves before taxing us.", Robert C. Schiming, Business Library Review


"The newest edition of Taxing Ourselves provides a comprehensive treatmentof the issues and a fresh look at recent developments in US tax policy.Using the clear language that has been a hallmark of earlier editions,Slemrod and Bakija lead the citizen taxpayer through the jungle of taxprovisions and jargon to an understanding of how the tax system affects ourlives, how we might do better, and what roadblocks stand in the way."
Alan J. Auerbach, Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law, andDirector, Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley

"Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija have done it again. The new edition of Taxing Ourselves is a beautifully written and up-to-date treatment of the theoretical, empirical, and institutional aspects of tax policy. Both students and aficionados of tax policy will find this volume an invaluable resource."
Harvey Rosen, Department of Economics, Princeton University

"A major impediment to rational tax reform is that most politicians, journalists, and citizens fail to grasp the key issues. Even those who understand much about taxes may be na

"This book is a most timely and thoughtful discussion of the federal taxsystem and current proposals for its reform. Thorough, objective, andup-to-date in its analysis and set in the historical/political context, thisbook is a must-read for every citizen and student who wishes enlightenmenton one of the most vital and controversial issues of the day."
Peggy B. Musgrave, University of California, Santa Cruz