FALLS CHURCH, VA — "The VAT is probably the ideal tax from a conservative point of view," Bruce Bartlett, the Treasury Department’s former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy and a leading conservative columnist and author, writes in The VAT Reader, Tax Analysts’ free new book on value added taxes. "[I]t creates less economic distortion per dollar of revenue than any other tax," and the alternative is much higher income taxes that hurt the economy much more.
Not so fast, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Congressional Budget Office director, current president of the American Action Forum, and another leading conservative, writes in another essay for The VAT Reader. A new VAT, he writes, would not address America’s real fiscal problem — excessive federal spending — and would make the tax system less efficient and less fair.
The essays of Bartlett and Holtz-Eakin are among 26 essays from leading tax experts that comprise The VAT Reader, a one-stop shop of information and analysis about value added taxes that is free and available from Tax Analysts' web site, at www.taxanalysts.com.
Other contributors include Peter R. Merrill, a principal in the Washington National Tax Services office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; C. Clinton Stretch, managing principal for tax policy at Deloitte Tax LLP; Michael J. Graetz, professor of tax law at Columbia Law School; Joel Slemrod, director of the Office of Tax Policy Research at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; Jane Gravelle, senior specialist in economic policy at the Congressional Research Service; and Martin A. Sullivan, contributing editor for Tax Analysts.
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