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Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS Hardcover – July, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

File your taxes on a postcard?
Guess again, says Steve Forbes, in his important new book Flat Tax Revolution. In fact, countries around the world have freed their taxpayers to do just that—and we can too with a simple flat tax that will slash tax rates, spur economic growth, and put the IRS out of business.
In Flat Tax Revolution you’ll learn:
· How a simple 17 percent flat tax will save you time, money, and worry
· Why the Flat Tax will eliminate the IRS, its bureaucrats, its paperwork, its nightmares, and its hassles
· Why the Flat Tax will create jobs, and bring back ones we’ve lost overseas
· How other countries are already reaping the benefits of a flat tax system
· How the flat tax will stop special interests getting tax breaks at your expense
· How the flat tax will eliminate shady accounting in business (something that our current tax system encourages)
· Why the Forbes Flat Tax is also a tax cut
· What you can do to make the Flat Tax a reality
As Steve Forbes shows, the Flat Tax shouldn’t be a partisan issue—it should be a taxpayer issue. And you can make it happen.
What are you waiting for? Buy this book and join the crusade!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895260409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895260406
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Forbes is Forbes Media Chairman and CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine, where his editorials appear as, "Fact and Comment." The company encompasses Forbes, ForbesLife, ForbesWoman and Forbes Asia magazines; the Web sites,,,,, and Business & Finance Blog Network; and 10 international licensee editions. Forbes' publications together reach more than five million readers globally, and its Web sites reach nearly 40 million users each month.

A widely respected economic prognosticator, Mr. Forbes is the only writer to have been a four-time winner of the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award, formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate. In 1996 and 2000 he campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the Presidency. His latest books are: How Capitalism Will Save Us (November 2009); and Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today . . . and the Lessons You Can Learn (June 2009), both by Crown Business. He is also the author of Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS (2005), and A New Birth of Freedom (1999), a book of bold ideas for the new millennium.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Every person who is concerned about taxes should read this concise and clearly written book. Steve Forbes has put forward a plan that will help every one of us by making our economy more efficient, make competition in the marketplace more even and fair (because being well connected with lobbyists would lose its power to get you a special break), and would make our representatives more directly accountable for what they spend because it would be more clear to each of us what it is we pay into the Washington D.C. sinkhole.

Every now and again it is essential to not just overhaul the tax code, but to wipe it out completely and start over. This happens because those whose job it is to spend the money eventually realize that the more money they have to spend the greater their power. They grant the money to those who support them, to retain popularity with their constituents, and to make those who receive payments beholden to them. They learn to collect the money as indirectly as possible so there is no general opposition to this or that small increase while there is a very vocal special interest group that wants the payment and hires lobbyists and supports the campaign costs of those who get them those payments.

The whole code becomes impenetrable with exceptions, loopholes, and one-offs. For example, Mr. Forbes points out a couple of times that Starbucks, your local caffeine purveyor, has gotten Congress to grant it a special exemption as a MANUFACTURER so it can get a special tax break on the grounds (sorry) that it grinds coffee beans. Right. There are thousands of these special favors built into the code. How does that help the consumer?
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ann Marinovich on July 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Just read Steve Forbes' new book, Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS. What an idea! The Washington politicians, H&R Block, tax lawyers, theIRS, and lobbyists will hate it...they will be out of business! The book is a GREAT read, written for non-economists, non-nerds. Steve shows how this can work in America, but he also shows how it is already working in a bunch of other countries. He also brilliantly demolishes all those phony arguments that tax-lovers use against it. Good Job Steve!!
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127 of 166 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lorenzi on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This 'simple' tax seems pretty complicated. Let me see if I get this right.

Forbes inadvertently calls for two federal income tax rates: a progressive tax on income (after personal deductions) and continuation of the regressive social security tax, also a federal tax on income. To see the problem, let's take a look at the prototypical (if also increasingly rare) two-parent, two-child family. Under Forbes's plan, their federal income tax rate changes, depending on the family's income. He starts by proposing exemptions, deductions, and tax credits, undercutting his claims that this is a "simple" flat tax and his argument that the whole point of a flat tax is to eliminate personal deductions, exemptions and the like. Then, below $46,165 a year, this family's effective federal income tax rate is zero. At an annual family income of $92,330, the effective or real tax rate it is half of Forbes' nominal 17% `flat' rate, because the family pays no taxes on the first $46, 165. And at $138,495, the rate is two-thirds of Forbes' nominal rate. You get the picture. The rate approaches the nominal 17% flat rate Forbes proposes, but never reaches it. This is called calculus, or approaching the nominal rate asymptotically. But it is not a flat tax. It is flat on the margin, but only for those who pay taxes, and with a $46,135 cut off, many families would pay no Forbes federal income taxes.

But wait! The Forbes `flat' tax isn't really fair either. On page sixty, right after Forbes proposes his "flat" 17% federal income tax rate and those exemptions and deductions), he decides to leave social security taxes out of the equation ("It does not supplant Medicare and social security taxes..."). Social security taxes are federal taxes on income, no matter how you slice it, lock-box it, or play with it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Forbes plan for tax reform is far less than ideal. It is not really a flat and simple tax, just a flatter and simpler tax. That being said, his system is preferable to the current monstrosity enforced by the IRS. Ideally, we should scrap the tax code and established a low flat tax rate. My ideal solution is not going to happen at this time.

Our first priority should be to slash Federal spending. With Federal spending as high as it is there is no chance of real tax reform. High levels of spending require high levels of taxation. With high levels of taxation, people are going to lobby for tax exemptions, so we will likely be stuck with a complex income tax code.

Forbes and other critics of big government should focus on restraining and then cutting growth in Federal spending. Then, after the spending problem is under control, we can talk about real tax reform. In the mean time, we might as well discuss the merits of more radical and ideal tax reform. In other words, Forbes advocates too little tax reform too soon. We should wait for an opportunity to really kill the IRS and the tax compliance industry. The IRS is a fundamentally evil organization, and the tax compliance industry is parasitic. Their time will come, and decent people who oppose them should be patient.
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