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: 5612

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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: 7975

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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: 1438

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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: 3253

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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

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: 3476

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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.

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: 1290

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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.

The United States of Europe

The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy
Author: T. R. Reid
Publisher: Wheeler Publishing, Incorporated
ISBN: 9781587249549
Category: Political Science
Page: 552
View: 5721

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Argues that the expanding European Union is becoming a second, and potentially superior, superpower to the United States, and outlines what the new Union will mean to world trade, politics, and power.

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: 3448

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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.

Showdown at Gucci Gulch


Author: Alan Murray
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307761746
Category: Political Science
Page: 336
View: 7862

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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.

Tax Politics and Policy


Author: Michael Thom
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317293347
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 4750

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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.

Taxing Ourselves

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes
Author: Joel Slemrod,Jon Bakija
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026226482X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 396
View: 6757

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As Albert Einstein may or may not have said, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." Indeed, 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 discussing the key issues clearly and without a political agenda: Should the federal income tax be replaced with a flat tax or sales tax? Should it be left in place and reformed? Can tax cuts stimulate the economy, or will higher deficits undermine any economic benefit? Authors and tax policy experts Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija lay out in accessible language what is known and not known about how taxes affect the economy, offer guidelines for evaluating tax systems, and provide enough information to assess both the current income tax system and the leading proposals to reform or replace it (including the flat tax and the consumption tax). The fourth edition of this popular guide has been extensively revised to incorporate the latest information, covering such recent developments as the Bush administration's tax cuts (which expire in 2011) and the alternatives proposed by the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. Slemrod and Bakija provide us with the knowledge and the tools -- including an invaluable voter's guide to the tax policy debate -- to make our own informed choices about how we should tax ourselves.

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: 9087

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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!

Welfare for the Wealthy

Parties, Social Spending, and Inequality in the United States
Author: Christopher G. Faricy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316352455
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 4860

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How does political party control determine changes to social policy, and by extension, influence inequality in America? Conventional theories show that Democratic control of the federal government produces more social expenditures and less inequality. Welfare for the Wealthy re-examines this relationship by evaluating how political party power results in changes to both public social spending and subsidies for private welfare - and how a trade-off between the two, in turn, affects income inequality. Christopher Faricy finds that both Democrats and Republicans have increased social spending over the last forty-two years. And while both political parties increase federal social spending, Democrats and Republicans differ in how they spend federal money, which socioeconomic groups benefit, and the resulting consequences for income inequality.

A Little History of Economics

Revised Version
Author: Niall Kishtainy
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300206364
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 249
View: 3936

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A lively, inviting account of the history of economics, told through events from ancient to modern times and the ideas of great thinkers in the field What causes poverty? Are economic crises inevitable under capitalism? Is government intervention in an economy a helpful approach or a disastrous idea? The answers to such basic economic questions matter to everyone, yet the unfamiliar jargon and math of economics can seem daunting. This clear, accessible, and even humorous book is ideal for young readers new to economics and for all readers who seek a better understanding of the full sweep of economic history and ideas. Economic historian Niall Kishtainy organizes short, chronological chapters that center on big ideas and events. He recounts the contributions of key thinkers including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and others, while examining topics ranging from the invention of money and the rise of agrarianism to the Great Depression, entrepreneurship, environmental destruction, inequality, and behavioral economics. The result is a uniquely enjoyable volume that succeeds in illuminating the economic ideas and forces that shape our world.

Dirty Secrets

How Tax Havens Destroy the Economy
Author: Richard Murphy
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786631695
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
View: 3047

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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.

Principles of Tax Policy


Author: STEPHANIE HUNTER. MCMAHON
Publisher: West Academic Publishing
ISBN: 9781642420586
Category:
Page: 568
View: 3239

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The new edition of Principles of Tax Policy explains the essential building blocks of the American tax system clearly and concisely, including the effects of changes adopted in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Chapters range from the political process to individual and corporate income taxes, Social Security and other payroll taxes, state and local budgeting, and international tax planning. Each chapter opens with a brief description of the covered policy topic, providing a synopsis of the current state of the law. Ample footnotes provide easy access to articles and standard reference works allowing readers to dig deeper on their own.

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: 773

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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.

The Economics of Tax Policy


Author: Alan J. Auerbach,Kent Smetters
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190619740
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 352
View: 5126

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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.

Perfectly Legal

The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else
Author: David C. Johnston
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781591840695
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 340
View: 597

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Identifies practices of discreet lobbying and tax policy manipulation that have been occurring since the mid 1970s and how they have resulted in benefits for the wealthiest people in American society, identifying ways in which the working class is being made to pay the majority of the nation's income taxes. Reprint.

Fixing the Facts

National Security and the Politics of Intelligence
Author: Joshua Rovner
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801463149
Category: Political Science
Page: 280
View: 7324

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What is the role of intelligence agencies in strategy and policy? How do policymakers use (or misuse) intelligence estimates? When do intelligence-policy relations work best? How do intelligence-policy failures influence threat assessment, military strategy, and foreign policy? These questions are at the heart of recent national security controversies, including the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq. In both cases the relationship between intelligence and policy broke down-with disastrous consequences. In Fixing the Facts, Joshua Rovner explores the complex interaction between intelligence and policy and shines a spotlight on the problem of politicization. Major episodes in the history of American foreign policy have been closely tied to the manipulation of intelligence estimates. Rovner describes how the Johnson administration dealt with the intelligence community during the Vietnam War; how President Nixon and President Ford politicized estimates on the Soviet Union; and how pressure from the George W. Bush administration contributed to flawed intelligence on Iraq. He also compares the U.S. case with the British experience between 1998 and 2003, and demonstrates that high-profile government inquiries in both countries were fundamentally wrong about what happened before the war.