Tax Policy Special Report
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The latest Washington Post editorials, opinion pieces and letters about tax policy.

A selection of opinion pieces and editorials on tax policy from The Washington Post.

Fantasy Tax
February 15, 1998
At first glance, a sales tax sounds simple, familiar and easy; after all, 45 states already operate such taxes. It is fantasy, however, to think that a sales tax could ever replace the federal tax system.– William G. Gale

A No to Tax Cuts
January 26, 1998
Bill Archer envisions a world in which the government takes less in taxes, "letting people keep more of what they earn, easing their financial burdens, freeing them to invest in themselves and their communities." Which specific costs and programs does he want to do away with? – Editorial

Abolish the IRS?
January 11, 1998
Blowing up the system, and pandering to people's natural dislike of the tax collector, carries risks of its own – Fred Hiatt

Tax Proposals Come Up a Little Flat
December 14, 1997
There are two main reform camps. One says, "Quit taxing personal and business incomes; pass a national sales tax instead." The other says, "Tax only earnings, at a low, flat rate." – Jane Bryant Quinn

Taxes: What the Children Said
November 9, 1997
The current income tax is a horrible mess and should indeed be scrapped. But in the course of radically restructuring our tax system, we should not enact a massive tax reduction for the country's most wealthy people, those who least need such relief. – Michael J. Graetz

The 8 and 8 Plan
November 4, 1997
What we need is both a simpler, fairer tax code and an overall reduction in what the government takes. My own solution is to scrap the current tax code and replace it with: an 8 percent flat tax on income plus an 8 percent national sales tax. Call it "8 and 8 in '98." – James K. Glassman

A Flimsy Idea in the House
October 23, 1997
The House is scheduled to vote on a tax cut almost exclusively for the better-off, masquerading as a form of aid to education. This is a flimsy idea that can't stand up to scrutiny. – Editorial

Accounts for the Kids
October 23, 1997
We believe that tax-free education savings accounts for kindergarten through high school are one important step toward addressing the concerns of parents around the country. – Paul Coverdell, Newt Gingrich and Robert Torricelli

The Rich Get Richer
October 6, 1997
The Republicans' two tax proposals, the flat tax and the consumption tax, both mean wealthy people would pay less, and the average American would bear higher taxes. For ordinary people, this "choice" is the fiscal equivalent of getting to choose between electrocution and hanging.
– Robert Kuttner

The Budget Deal: An Opportunity Lost
August 1, 1997
Congress and the Clinton administration have managed to fashion a tax cut that makes taxes more complex, less fair and at best leaves economic growth unchanged. That's actually hard to do, and in the end, it will hurt everyone. – William G. Gale

The Estate Tax Issue
April 29, 1997
Congressional Republicans want to repeal the estate tax. But it's possible to solve the genuine problems with the tax by making only some relatively modest changes. – Editorial

Blinking at Responsibility
May 8, 1996
Repealing a tax – any tax – and particularly a tax that consumers are reminded of every time they fill up their cars at the pump, is unarguably attractive as a matter of raw politics, but it is terrible as a matter of public policy. – Charles S. Robb

Flat Wrong: New Tax Schemes Can't Top Old Progressive Truths
March 24, 1996
Many would-be tax reformers harbor larger ambitions than closing loopholes and simplifying the system. Proposals such as the flat tax and a national sales tax suggest that the real issue lies in the principle of progressive taxation itself. – Robert J. Shapiro

The Tax Tussle: Flat Tax Fever
September 10, 1995
The progressive federal income tax is in danger of being dethroned. Republican leaders in both houses of Congress are calling for its elimination. But what do we replace it with? – Ernest S. Christian

The Tax Tussle: If it Ain't Broke...
September 10, 1995
Compliance with the income tax is burdensome to some. But so are other responsibilities of membership in this society. If, as I think, progressive taxation is a feature of a good society, the compliance costs are not too great. – Herbert Stein

Taming the Tax Code
August 27, 1995
A simple tax may not work in a complex world – unless we are willing to accept very arbitrary lines and rules. – Sheldon Cohen

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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