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100 Million Unnecessary ReturnsA Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States$
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Michael J. Graetz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300122749

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300122749.001.0001

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The Broken Politics of Taxation

The Broken Politics of Taxation

(p.17) II The Broken Politics of Taxation
100 Million Unnecessary Returns

Michael J. Graetz

Yale University Press

The chapter argues that any responsible attempt to reform the U.S. tax system and create one more suitable to the global economy of the twenty-first century has to face strong political headwinds. The public prefers tax reductions to tax reform, and politicians often pander to this preference. In addition, lobbyists and their clients fight hard to retain the tax breaks that tax reformers seek to eliminate. The chapter discusses how the first step in understanding the political landscape that has shaped the discussion of taxes in America for the past quarter-century is to recognize the profound impact of the modern conservative, anti-tax movement. It also discusses the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was widely heralded as the most significant change in the nation's tax law since the income tax was extended to the masses during World War II.

Keywords:   U.S. tax system, global economy, tax reductions, tax reform, anti-tax movement

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