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Taxing Ourselves, Fourth Edition
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.
About the Authors
Joel Slemrod is Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Ross School of Business, Professor of Economics, and Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Michigan. He is the coauthor, with Jon Bakija, of Taxing Ourselves, now in its fourth edition from the MIT Press.
Jon Bakija is Associate Professor of Economics at Williams College and Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School, 2007-2008.
—Alan Auerbach, Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law, and Director, Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University of California, Berkeley
—Louis Kaplow, Finn M.W. Caspersen and Household International Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard
—Peggy B. Musgrave, University of California, Santa Cruz
—Harvey Rosen, Department of Economics, Princeton University