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Individual Taxpayers and Federal Tax Reform: Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Finance

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): William G. Gale

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

Topic: Banking and finance (Taxation and tax policy)

Keywords: Tax Reform; Simplification and Administration; Fundamental Reform (Flat Tax, Sales Tax); Taxation of Households

Type: Report


In the next few years, several factors will push tax issues to the forefront of policy discussions. First, under current law, almost all of the Bush Administration's tax cuts will expire at the end of 2010. A second factor is the rapid growth in the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which will increase the inequity and complexity of the tax system. A third issue is the expected increase in government spending over the next several decades. Despite these pressures on the system, tax changes are not inevitable, and achieving meaningful reform?that is, with substantial design improvements?will require strong political leadership. Gale's testimony focuses on some overarching principles that should guide tax reform efforts.