Title

Living with the Flat Tax

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1995

ISSN

0028-0283

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

The flat tax replacement for the current federal income tax - proposed by Hall and Rabushka,1 and endorsed by House Majority Leader Dick Armey2 and Senator and Presidential aspirant Arlen Specter3 - has attracted support from scholars and the general public alike.4 Many scholars believe the flat tax will reduce the inefficiencies of the income tax, increase incentives for productive behavior, and pro- mote savings.5 Proponents add that the flat tax will produce adequate revenue without significantly increasing the tax burden that the personal and corporate income taxes currently impose.6

For the general public, the most salient attraction of the flat tax lies in its promise of simplicity. The voluminous Internal Revenue Code would follow the dinosaurs into extinction, replaced by a short and easily comprehended statute.7 Transactions motivated by tax reduction likewise would disappear, as would the complex forms of certain business transactions. Most particularly, the prospect of filing the annual income tax return on a form the size of a postcard has captured the popular imagination.8

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