Why Laws Sometimes Restrict Even When They Can't Be Fully Enforced

Research Report

Why Laws Sometimes Restrict Even When They Can't Be Fully Enforced

July 27, 1998

Abstract

Senior Fellow Eugene Steuerle examines the "gray area" in tax laws--he concludes that the law requires objective standards even when it is approximating subjective goals. Sometimes there are true dilemmas, so that any choice will raise some costs that we would just as soon avoid. An honest recognition of those dilemmas may not so much resolve them as reduce the constant demand that the law be changed continually in an attempt to remove the inevitable tension.

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