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Taxing Ourselves - 2nd Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate over Tax Reform Hardcover – April 18, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0262194297 ISBN-10: 0262194295 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 2 edition (April 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262194295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262194297
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,613,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cutting through the academic jargon, the authors ...explore the fundamental questions and choices inherent in tax policymaking."
Boston Sunday Globe



Praise for the first edition

"Taxing Ourselves is one of the best books on taxation I have ever read."
Bruce Bartlett, Wall Street Journal

"For anybody interested in tax reform, yet confused by political polemic, Taxing Ourselves is an invaluable guide to the debate."
The Economist

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.

Jon Bakija is Associate Professor of Economics at Williams College and Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School, 2007-2008.

More About the Author

Joel Slemrod is a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, where he also serves as Director of the Office of Tax Policy Research, an interdisciplinary research center housed at the Business School. In 1983-84 he was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution and in 1984-85 he was the senior economist for tax policy at the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He's been at Michigan since 1987.

Professor Slemrod has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and several foreign governments, as well as to Marriott International and Merck & Co., Inc. He has been a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers, and has testified before the Congress on domestic and international taxation issues. From 1992 to 1998 Professor Slemrod was editor of the National Tax Journal, and from 2006 to 2010 was co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics. In 2005-6, he was president of the National Tax Association. He is co-author with Jon Bakija of Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes, whose fifth edition will be published in 2013, and with Len Burman of Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know, published in 2012. In 2012 he received from the National Tax Association its most prestigious award, the Daniel M. Holland Medal for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study and practice of public finance.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Brady on December 2, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This slender volume is a readable and entertaining survey of the woes of the current income tax system and of a variety of tax reform proposals intended to replace the current system. The section of the book that discusses the tax system's effect on labor supply, saving & investment, incentive to work, international competiveness, and other economic 'macro' effects, is especially insightful. The authors conclude (probably correctly) that the tax system's effect on these things is probably marginal, and, in any event, difficult to measure empirically. Therefore, any tax reform that promises 'economic nirvana' should be taken with a grain of salt. The authors suggest, without endorsement, that the hallmarks of any new (or improved) tax system should be simplicity, enforcability, and revenue- raising efficiency; the last denotes the absence of 'social tinkering' through the tax system. Unfortunately, the authors note that all of the various tax reform proposals being floated by politicians suffer severe political defects. A national sales tax would be difficult to enforce (that's probably correct); a broad-based value added tax (VAT) would be highly regressive; the 'flat tax' (wage tax) would be less progressive than the current income tax; and the consumed income tax (consumption tax) would be more complicated than the current income tax (that's probably not correct, and the authors do not explain this assertion well). These are principally political impediments to reform- the authors suggest that it will take an act of political courage by Congress or the president to make any progress on the tax reform front. That's clearly correct, but don't hold your breath.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Tax reform isn't usually one of those topics that gets people excited -- most people view it the same way George Bush looks at broccoli. But Slemrod and Bakija do a great job of making it interesting and explaining complex ideas in simple language. If you want to know how Steve Forbes' flat tax will hit your wallet or how much the current income tax system stymies growth, this is the book for you. Simply, it is a great, great place to start to learn about tax reform. It's as good as it gets on the topic
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a really great and readable text on what is often a challenging topic. The authors really have provided some insightful analysis on what is always a timely topic. I learned a tremendous amount and easily made my way through the flowing prose. I suggest this book for anyone interested in taxation and also for those of us who are simply "tax curious". This is a particularly relevant book given the upcoming elections!
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