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A Consensus Base for Tax Reform

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Publication Date: October 2006

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): C. Eugene Steuerle

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Banking and finance (Taxation and tax policy)

Keywords: Economy; Federal Budgets & Fiscal Policy; Tax Policy; Taxes, the Budget, and the Economy

Type: Report


The biggest mistake in tax reform is the label itself. Saying that one is in favor of tax reform is about as informative as saying that one is in favor of expenditures reform. Despite this murk, I suggest that there is a consensus base on which fundamental reform can and should rest -- the type of foundational base on which any tax system itself should rest and, by the way, the base on which reform in 1986 reform proceeded. That base is nothing more or less than developing, first, reform options that adhere to basic principles or taxation and, second, a legislative process that gives them heed.