Not Much Reform in “Tax Reform”

Not Much Reform in “Tax Reform”

Class politics is of essence of taxation.
–T.S. Adams

The “tax reform” legislation—which at this writing still awaits final approval by Congress and the president—has been acclaimed by conservatives and liberals alike. It would presumably distribute the tax burden more fairly, exempt most low-income earners or radically reduce their federal taxes, and shift some of the burden from families to business. Other reasons for the acclaim are that it would broaden the tax base, i.e., make the definition of taxable income more inclusive by eliminating various tax benefits; and that it would “simplify” the tax system. I will show that this acclaim has been less than thoughtful on the part of those who have traditionally called for a more equitable tax structure.

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