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Fair Not Flat: How to Make the Tax System Better and Simplerby Edward J. Mccaffery
Synopses & Reviews
Everyone knows that the current tax system is unfair. Some of the richest people in America pay no tax, perfectly legally, while heavy tax burdens fall on the rest of us. A mere glance at the tax code confirms that it is far too complex, with volumes of rules that no ordinary person could possibly comprehend. What is to be done? Some conservatives have called for a so-called flat tax. But a flat tax is not necessarily a simple tax, and in any event "flat" means "more" for most taxpayers: a rise in taxes on the middle class to finance tax cuts for the rich. What's fair about that? Is there a better alternative?
In clear, easy-to-understand language, Edward J. McCaffery offers a straightforward and fair proposal. A "fair not flat" tax that is consistent and progressive would tax spending, not work and savings. And if it were collected at its lower levels through a national sales tax, most people would not even have to file onerous tax returns. A supplemental tax on spending for the wealthiest individuals would make the national sales tax progressive. Under McCaffery's system, the average family of four would pay no tax on their first $20,000 in spending, and 15 percent on the next $60,000 they spend-only the few families who spend more than $80,000 a year would be subject to the supplemental tax. Necessities would be taxed less than ordinary and luxury items. No one would be taxed directly when he or she saved. And as an added bonus, the estate and gift or so-called death tax would be abolished.
Simpler, more efficient, fairer, and better reflective of America's current social values, McCaffery's "fair not flat" tax could help get us out of the tax mess that politicians and special interests have gotten us into, improving the whole country in the process. Read Fair Not Flat to find out how.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 167-170) and index.
List of Tables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Time for a Change1. Tax Basics2. The Trouble with the Income Tax3. The Case for a Spending Tax4. Death to Death Taxes5. Progressivity Can Live6. The Fair Not Flat TaxConclusion: Toward Class Teamwork, Not Class WarfareQuestions and Comments about the Fair Not Flat TaxGlossary of Key TermsFurther ReadingIndex
About the Author
Edward J. McCaffery is the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and visiting professor of law and economics at the California Institute of Technology. He is the author of Taxing Women, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Introduction: Time for a Change
1. Tax Basics
2. The Trouble with the Income Tax
3. The Case for a Spending Tax
4. Death to Death Taxes
5. Progressivity Can Live
6. The Fair Not Flat Tax
Conclusion: Toward Class Teamwork, Not Class Warfare
Questions and Comments about the Fair Not Flat Tax
Glossary of Key Terms
What Our Readers Are Saying
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