Thursday, March 25, 2021

Fortieth Anniversary Of The Flat Tax Movement

March 25, 2021, is the fortieth anniversary of the beginning of the flat tax movement. I include an op-ed that was published on March 25, 1981, in the Wall Street Journal. I wrote it four months after Ronald Reagan’s Tax Policy Task Force submitted its report upon his election. My motivation for the op-ed was that while the Task Force’s recommendations, which were largely adopted, improved the then current federal income tax code, they did not go nearly far enough to simplify and fix other flaws in the tax code.

My WSJ article can be read on my website:  Click on the toolbar button for Articles and Essays.  It is the first entry under the heading Wall Street Journal.

After its publication, Bob Hall and I collaborated during summer 1981 to write a flat tax plan. On December 10, 1981, we published it in the Wall Street Journal. (Second entry under WSJ heading on my website.). That article presented the Hall-Rabushka “flax tax on a postcard.”

Hall-Rabushka is a fully-integrated, progressive, single-rate consumption tax. Progressivity occurs in the wages and salaries component by way of personal allowances.


Clark said...

The plan was elegant and compelling when I first read it 40 years ago, and remains so. Unfortunately, members of Congress seem even less likely to embrace an efficient and minimally distorting tax measure than they were in 1981. But hope springs eternal. Best wishes!

Joy Schwabach said...

I remember this dynamite op-ed so well. It energized me as a young journalist enough to request an interview with you, which was also fantastic. Maybe the flat tax will eventually come to pass, if only Congress can think of a way other than tax breaks as a way to gain campaign contributions.

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