urban institute press

Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy

Softcover Book
ISBN 9780877667209
332 pages
May 2004

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Sound tax policy and administration—like a trustworthy judiciary and a reliable financial accounting system—is one of the pillars of modern governance. Most fundamentally, taxes are collected to support the activities of government agencies, but for modern policymakers the tax code has become the tool of choice for changing the economy or society’s behavior. In Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy, one of the most influential minds in the field offers an insider’s look at tax policy based on a quarter-century of working with officials and staffers of all political stripes. Steuerle outlines the principles of taxation and the early postwar period before proceeding to a detailed examination of the tax policy battles that began with the “Reagan revolution” in the early 1980s and have continued through the present Bush administration. Those expecting a simple story of triumph and defeat may be surprised. Rather than political consensus and steady progress, tax policy history is messy, repetitive, and often rancorous. Yet in the midst of this clamor, evolution--and even revolution--do occur. Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy offers the most comprehensive history of this most controversial and important subject.

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