A Fine Mess

A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

Author: T. R. Reid

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1594205515

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 278

View: 1116

Presents an international investigation into America's failing tax code to share plainspoken assessments of current problems and what can be learned from other democratic nations.

A Fine Mess

A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

Author: T. R. Reid

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735223963

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 7683

New York Times bestelling author T. R. Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of America's failing tax code, unravelling a complex topic in plain English - and telling a rollicking story along the way. The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes. Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer. But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality. In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.

The Healing of America

A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

Author: T. R. Reid

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143118218

Category: Medical

Page: 290

View: 3271

A best-selling author guides a whirlwind tour of successful health-care systems worldwide, disproving American myths of "socialized medicine" to find possible paths toward reform. Reprint.

Congressional Odyssey

The Saga of a Senate Bill

Author: T. R. Reid

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0716711729

Category: Political Science

Page: 140

View: 1241

The two year progress of an inland waterway user charge bill is followed through both houses of Congress, as an example of how legislation is created and passed

Taxes in America

What Everyone Needs to Know

Author: Leonard Burman,Joel Slemrod

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199890277

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 280

View: 6710

Taxes in America, by preeminent tax scholars Leonard E. Burman and Joel Slemrod, offers a clear, concise explanation of how our tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. Accessibly written, the book describes the confundities of the modern tax system in an easy-to-grasp manner and addresses issues relevant to the average taxpayer.

Dirty Secrets

How Tax Havens Destroy the Economy

Author: Richard Murphy

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1786631695

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 2583

What happens when the rich are allowed to hide their money in tax havens, and what we should do about it The Panama Papers were a reminder of how the superrich are allowed to hide their wealth from the rest of us. Dirty Secrets uncovers the extent of the corruption behind this crisis and shows what needs to be done in the face of this unregulated spread of rampant greed. Tax havens, we are often told, are part of the global architecture of capitalism, providing a freedom from regulation necessary to make markets work. In this book, leading authority Richard Murphy uncovers the truth behind this lie. The fact of the matter is that this increasingly popular practice threatens the foundations of democracy, sowing mistrust and creating a regime based upon opacity. As Murphy shows, how we manage our economy is a political decision, and one that can be changed. Dirty Secrets proposes ways to regulate tax havens and what the world might look like without them.

Rich Democracies

Political Economy, Public Policy, and Performance

Author: Harold L. Wilensky

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520232798

Category: Political Science

Page: 891

View: 8567

Drawing on data covering the past 50 years and more than 400 interviews with top decision-makers, Wilensky provides a richly detailed account of the common problems modern governments confront and their contrasting styles of conflict resolution.

Confucius Lives Next Door

What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West

Author: T.R. Reid

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307833860

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 7866

Those who've heard T. R. Reid's weekly commentary on National Public Radio or read his far-flung reporting in National Geographic or The Washington Post know him to be trenchant, funny, and cutting-edge, but also erudite and deeply grounded in whatever subject he's discussing. In Confucius Lives Next Door he brings all these attributes to the fore as he examines why Japan, China, Taiwan, and other East Asian countries enjoy the low crime rates, stable families, excellent education, and civil harmony that remain so elusive in the West. Reid, who has spent twenty-five years studying Asia and was for five years The Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief, uses his family's experience overseas--including mishaps and misapprehensions--to look at Asia's "social miracle" and its origin in the ethical values outlined by the Chinese sage Confucius 2,500 years ago. When Reid, his wife, and their three children moved from America to Japan, the family quickly became accustomed to the surface differences between the two countries. In Japan, streets don't have names, pizza comes with seaweed sprinkled on top, and businesswomen in designer suits and Ferragamo shoes go home to small concrete houses whose washing machines are outdoors because there's no room inside. But over time Reid came to appreciate the deep cultural differences, helped largely by his courtly white-haired neighbor Mr. Matsuda, who personified ancient Confucian values that are still dominant in Japan. Respect, responsibility, hard work--these and other principles are evident in Reid's witty, perfectly captured portraits, from that of the school his young daughters attend, in which the students maintain order and scrub the floors, to his depiction of the corporate ceremony that welcomes new employees and reinforces group unity. And Reid also examines the drawbacks of living in such a society, such as the ostracism of those who don't fit in and the acceptance of routine political bribery. Much Western ink has been spilled trying to figure out the East, but few journalists approach the subject with T. R. Reid's familiarity and insight. Not until we understand the differences between Eastern and Western perceptions of what constitutes success and personal happiness will we be able to engage successfully, politically and economically, with those whose moral center is governed by Confucian doctrine. Fascinating and immensely readable, Confucius Lives Next Door prods us to think about what lessons we might profitably take from the "Asian Way"--and what parts of it we want to avoid.

Taxing Ourselves

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate Over Taxes

Author: Joel Slemrod,Jon M. Bakija

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262693028

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 382

View: 5237

"Citizens should read Taxing Ourselves before casting their votes in local, state, and national elections. Politicians should read Taxing Ourselves before taxing us." —Richard C. Schiming, Business Library Review 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 presenting in clear nontechnical language the key issues in tax reform: who should pay taxes, how taxes affect the economy, and whether to reform or replace the current tax system. The authors discuss various alternative proposals in detail, including the flat tax and the sales tax, but they are not advocates for any of them; instead, they provide readers with the knowledge and the tools—including an informative overview of the U.S. tax system and an invaluable voter's guide to the tax policy debate—to make their own informed choices about how we should tax ourselves. The third edition of this popular guide has been extensively revised and updated to cover all changes in tax laws through May 2003 and to reflect the most recent research and relevant data. It also provides new or expanded treatment of issues in the current debate, including tax cuts and whether they stimulate the economy, savings incentives, double taxation of corporate income, the estate tax, corporate tax shelters, and the economic and political effects of budget deficits.

The Benefit and The Burden

Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take

Author: Bruce Bartlett

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451646267

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 3850

A thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform, arguably the most overdue political debate facing the nation, from one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time. THE UNITED STATES TAX CODE HAS UNDERGONE NO SERIOUS REFORM SINCE 1986. Since then, loopholes, exemptions, credits, and deductions have distorted its clarity, increased its inequity, and frustrated our ability to govern ourselves. By tracing the history of our own tax system and assessing the way other countries have solved similar problems, Bruce Bartlett explores the surprising answers to all these issues, giving a sense of the tax code’s many benefits—and its inevitable burdens. From one of the most respected political and economic thinkers, advisers, and writers of our time, The Benefit and the Burden is a thoughtful and surprising argument for American tax reform.

For Good and Evil

The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization

Author: Charles Adams

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0819186317

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 530

View: 4113

The very word taxes sends shivers up spines. Yet, very few realize the tremendous impact that taxation has had on civilization. Charles Adams changes that in this fascinating history. Taxation, says Mr. Adams, has been a catalyst of history, the powerful influence if not the direct cause of many of the famous events of history that have marched across the world's stage as empires collided and battled for the right to tax the loser. For Good and Evil is the first book to examine how taxation has been a key factor in world events. Like the Rosetta Stone - a tax document - the book sheds fresh light onto much of history. Did you know that biblical Israel split after Solomon's death because his son refused to cut taxes? That Rome rose to greatness due to a liberal tax regime but declined under corrupt and inefficient ones? That in Britain, Lady Godiva made her famous ride as a tax protest? That in Switzerland William Tell shot the apple off his son's head as punishment for tax resistance? Or that Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, was a Customs House? Combining facts with thought-provoking comment he frequently draws parallels between tax events of the past and those of the present. Finding fault with the way Western civilization is taxed, Adams provides ideas for curing those faults by using the valuable lessons that history has taught. The special value of this refreshing new look at history lies in the lessons to be drawn by all thinking taxpayers. "Taxes are the fuel that makes civilization run, but how we tax and spend determines to a large extent whether we are prosperous or poor, free or enslaved, and most importantly, good or evil." Once you read For Good and Evil, you'll never feel the same about taxes!

The Menace of Privilege

A Study of the Dangers to the Republic from the Existence of a Favored Class, by Henry George, Jr

Author: Henry George

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Elite (Social sciences)

Page: 421

View: 1647


Fair Not Flat

How to Make the Tax System Better and Simpler

Author: Edward J. McCaffery

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226555669

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 3097

Everyone knows that the current tax system is unfair. Some of the richest people in America pay no tax, while a huge share of the tax burden falls 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 "flat" means "more" for most taxpayers: a rise in middle-class taxes to finance tax cuts for the rich. Is there another choice? In clear, easy-to-understand language, Edward J. McCaffery proposes a straightforward and fair alternative. A "fair not flat" tax that is consistent and progressive would tax spending, not income and savings. And if it were collected at its lower levels through a national sales tax, most people would not have to file a return. A supplemental tax on spending for the wealthiest individuals would make the national sales tax progressive. Under McCaffery's system, a family of four would pay no tax on their first $20,000 in spending, and 15 percent on the next $60,000. 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 on savings. The estate and gift or so-called death tax would be abolished, for the simple reason that dead people don't spend. The "fair not flat" tax would fall on heirs when and as they spend their good fortune. Perhaps best of all, most Americans would not have to fill out tax returns. Simpler, more efficient, fairer, and more 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. “In Fair Not Flat, Mr. McCaffery lays out the case for a consumption tax. He does so in a reader-friendly way, presenting his argument with very few footnotes, equations or technical terms. The consumption of the book, so to speak, is not at all taxing. And its argument is well worth pondering.”—Bruce Bartlett, Wall Street Journal

A Fine Mess

Author: Breanna Hughes

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780997740530

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 6744

While picking up the pieces after a family tragedy, 24-year-old singer/songwriter Harper Foley tries to fix her relationship with her estranged sister, get closure on her relationship with her ex-fiance, and sort through her confusing feelings for her best friend, all while trying to come to terms with who she is. A twist on the traditional coming of age story, A Fine Mess is a story about navigating through the chaos and finding yourself among the wreckage."

The Economics of Tax Policy

Author: Alan J. Auerbach,Kent Smetters

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190619740

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 3528

The debates about the what, who, and how of tax policy are at the core of politics, policy, and economics. The Economics of Tax Policy provides a straightforward overview of recent research in the economics of taxation. Tax policies generate considerable debate among the public, policymakers, and scholars. These disputes have grown more heated in the United States as the incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent and the rest of the population continue to diverge. This important volume enhances understanding of the implications of taxation on behavior and social outcomes by having leading scholars evaluate key topics in tax policy. These include how changes to the individual income tax affect long-term economic growth; the challenges of tax administration, compliance, and enforcement; and environmental taxation and its effects on tax revenue, pollution emissions, economic efficiency, and income distribution. Also explored are tax expenditures, which are subsidy programs in the form of tax deductions, exclusions, credits, or favorable rates; how college attendance is influenced by tax credits and deductions for tuition and fees, tax-advantaged college savings plans, and student loan interest deductions; and how tax policy toward low-income families takes a number of forms with different distributional effects. Among the most contentious issues explored are influences of capital gains and estate taxation on the long term concentration of wealth; the interaction of tax policy and retirement savings and how policy can "nudge" improved planning for retirement; and how the reform of corporate and business taxation is central to current tax policy debates in the United States. By providing overviews of recent advances in thinking about how taxes relate to behavior and social goals, The Economics of Tax Policy helps inform the debate.

Showdown at Gucci Gulch

Author: Alan Murray

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307761746

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 9280

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was the single most sweeping change in the history of America's income tax. It was also the best political and economic story of its time. Here, in the anecdotal style of The Making of the President, two Wall Street Journal reporters provide the first complete picture of how this tax revolution went from an improbable dream to a widely hailed reality. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Federal Taxation in America

A History

Author: W. Elliot Brownlee

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316760472

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 7296

This authoritative and readable survey is a comprehensive historical overview of federal taxation and fiscal policy in the United States, extending from the era of the American Revolution to the present day. Brownlee relates the principal stages of federal taxation to the crises that led to their adoption, including but not limited to: the formation of the republic, the Civil War, World War I and II, and the challenges to government that took hold during the 1980s. In this third edition, Brownlee adds four new chapters covering the colonial era, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the 1920s, and the post-1945 era including the tax policies of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. It features expanded discussion of government expenditures, deficits and debt, public resources, counter-cyclical fiscal policy, and state and local taxation. Its interdisciplinary interpretation makes it perfect for scholars, graduate students and advanced undergraduate students.

Tax Politics and Policy

Author: Michael Thom

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317293347

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 1502

Taxes are an inescapable part of life. They are perhaps the most economically consequential aspect of the relationship between individuals and their government. Understanding tax development and implementation, not to mention the political forces involved, is critical to fully appreciating and critiquing that relationship. Tax Politics and Policy offers a comprehensive survey of taxation in the United States. It explores competing theories of taxation’s role in civil society; investigates the evolution and impact of taxes on income, consumption, and assets; and highlights the role of interest groups in tax policy. This is the first book to include a separate look at "sin" taxes on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and sugar. The book concludes with a look at tax reform ideas, both old and new. This book is written for a broad audience—from upper-level undergraduates to graduate students in public policy, public administration, political science, economics, and related fields—and anyone else that has ever paid taxes.

Conflict, War, and Peace

An Introduction to Scientific Research

Author: Sara McLaughlin Mitchell,John A. Vasquez

Publisher: CQ Press

ISBN: 1483322106

Category: Political Science

Page: 440

View: 6220

Introducing students to the scientific study of peace and war, Conflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research, edited by Sara McLaughlin Mitchell and John A. Vasquez, provides an overview of current scholarship in this dynamic area of study. Focusing on the factors that shape relationships between countries and that make war or peace more likely, this collection of articles by top scholars explores such key topics as dangerous dyads, alliances, territorial disputes, rivalry, arms races, democracy peace, trade, international organizations, territorial peace, and nuclear weapons. Each article is followed by the editors’ commentary: a “Major Contributions” section highlights the article’s theoretical advances and relates each study to the broader literature, while a “Methodological Notes” section carefully walks students through the techniques used in the analysis. Methodological topics include research design, percentages, probabilities, odds ratios, statistical significance, levels of analysis, selection bias, logic, duration models, and game theory models.

Blown to Bits

Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Author: Harold Abelson,Ken Ledeen,Harry R. Lewis

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

ISBN: 0137135599

Category: Computers

Page: 366

View: 4810

Every day, billions of photographs, news stories, songs, X-rays, TV shows, phone calls, and emails are being scattered around the world as sequences of zeroes and ones: bits. We can't escape this explosion of digital information and few of us want to-the benefits are too seductive. The technology has enabled unprecedented innovation, collaboration, entertainment, and democratic participation. But the same engineering marvels are shattering centuries-old assumptions about privacy, identity, free expression, and personal control as more and more details of our lives are captured as digital data. Can you control who sees all that personal information about you? Can email be truly confidential, when nothing seems to be private? Shouldn't the Internet be censored the way radio and TV are? is it really a federal crime to download music? When you use Google or Yahoo! to search for something, how do they decide which sites to show you? Do you still have free speech in the digital world? Do you have a voice in shaping government or corporate policies about any of this? Blown to Bits offers provocative answers to these questions and tells intriguing real-life stories. This book is a wake-up call To The human consequences of the digital explosion.