Comparative Politics

Download A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More by T. R. Reid PDF

By T. R. Reid

The U.S. tax code is a complete write-off. full of loopholes and targeted curiosity provisions, it really works for not anyone other than tax attorneys, accountants, and large organisations. now not for the 1st time, we've got reached a brink. That occurred in 1922, and back in 1954, and back in 1986. In different phrases, each thirty-two years. this means that the subsequent entire overhaul is due in 2018. yet what could be during this new tax code? will we make the U.S. tax approach less complicated, fairer, and extra effective? convinced, definite, and certain. will we minimize tax charges and nonetheless usher in extra profit? sure.
 
different wealthy international locations, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes which are equitable, potent, and straightforward at the taxpayer.  however the usa has languished. So byzantine are the present statutes that, by means of our government’s personal estimates, american citizens spend six billion hours and $10 billion each year getting ready and submitting their taxes. within the Netherlands that activity takes a trifling fifteen mins! winning American businesses like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google successfully pay no tax in any respect in a few cases due to loopholes that let them to maneuver earnings offshore. certainly, the dysfunctional tax method has turn into an immense reason behind financial inequality.
 
In A tremendous Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe looking for the precise strategies to those pressing difficulties. With an uncanny knack for creating a advanced topic not only obtainable yet gripping, he investigates what makes strong taxation (no, that’s now not an oxymoron) and brings that wisdom domestic the place it truly is wanted such a lot. by no means conversing down or reflexively siding with both wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for good root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This impacts all people. Doing our taxes seriously isn't America's favourite hobby, however it can and may be quite a bit more straightforward and fairer.

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Extra info for A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

Example text

Eventually, in the Internal Revenue Code of 1922, the structure of the federal income tax was essentially set. There were new revenue acts every few years—1932, 1939, 1946—but the basic system stayed in place for three decades. By the 1950s, everyone agreed that the Internal Revenue Code was a complex, confusing, contradictory mess. The new president, Dwight Eisenhower, demanded reform—and Congress obliged with a complete rewrite: the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Among much else, it set the deadline for filing your income tax return on April 15.

As long as a government doesn’t print so much money that it triggers inflation, seigniorage can be a small but steady contributor to revenues. Governments can also bring in money by borrowing. S. government spends more than it takes in—in fiscal 2016, we ran a deficit of $590 billion—it borrows money from banks, investors, and foreign governments to make up the difference. S. government is a relatively conservative borrower compared with other rich countries. S. 4 Countries like Italy (147%), Portugal (141%), and Ireland (133%) had significantly bigger debts, as a share of their total wealth, than the United States.

This innovation is so useful, fair, and simple that some 175 countries have adopted it in recent decades, often using revenues from the VAT to cut income tax rates. The only places that don’t use a VAT are a handful of poor countries and the world’s richest country, the United States. We’ve missed out on a powerful new technology. When it comes to taxation, Americans are still pounding out letters on typewriters and dropping them in the mailbox, while the rest of the world has moved on to e-mail and texting.

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