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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 50, Issue 4 | leftPrevious Review Next Review right

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Book(s) Reviewed

The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform--Why We Need It and What It Will Take by Bruce Bartlett

Published By: New York and London: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4619-1
Date of Publication: 2012


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Alan D. Viard of American Enterprise Institute
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.4.1106.r5
Review Pages: 1117-19

Book Review Abstract

Alan D. Viard of American Enterprise Institute reviews, "The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform--Why We Need It and What It Will Take" by Bruce Bartlett. The JEL annotation of this book begins: "Explores the fundamentals of taxation at the simplest level and considers the question of tax reform. Discusses a brief history of federal income taxation; how a tax bill is made; the definition of income; how to understand tax rates; the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues; how taxes affect economic growth; the question of progressivity; taxes and the business cycle; how other countries tax themselves; spending through the tax code; taxes and the health system; tax preferences for housing; how federal taxes affect the states; the problem of charitable contributions; the problem of taxing capital gains; some unresolved issues in the taxation of corporations; the problem of tax administration; the history of tax reform; the pros and cons of popular tax reform proposals; the need for more revenue; the case for a value-added tax; the case against a value-added tax; what should be done about the Bush tax cuts; and whether tax reform will happen because Grover Norquist permits it. Bartlett is an economic columnist. Index."


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Book Review Authors

Alan D. Viard of American Enterprise Institute


JEL Classifications

E62: Fiscal Policy
H20: Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General


Journal of Economic Literature


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