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John W. Diamond

John W. Diamond is Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Titles by This Editor

The United States and other advanced economies in the Eurozone and elsewhere face severe fiscal problems. The United States is on an unsustainable dynamic path; absent corrective fiscal policies, federal deficits and debts relative to gross domestic product will continue to increase dramatically. In this book, experts consider possible fiscal reforms aimed at addressing the debt problem, focusing on entitlement programs, budgetary issues and processes, and individual and corporate income tax reform.

The contributors address such topics as the interaction of rising health care costs and the level of federal expenditures; alternative methods for evaluating the fiscal health and sustainability of Social Security; the effectiveness of budgetary constraints imposed on the states, including balanced budget amendments and debt ceilings; approaches to curtailing individual tax expenditures and methods for increasing the progressivity of the tax system; and the effects of traditional base-broadening, rate-reducing corporate income tax reforms.

Contributors
Henry J. Aaron, James Alm, Rosanne Altshuler, Daniel Baneman, Joe Barnes, Robert J. Carroll, Ruud A. de Mooij, John W. Diamond, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Jane G. Gravelle, Peter R. Hartley, Vivian Ho, John Kitchen, Edward D. Kleinbard, John Mutti, Thomas S. Neubig, Mark V. Pauly, Rudolph G. Penner, Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Shanna Rose, Joseph Rosenberg, Daniel Smith, Eric Toder, Alan D. Viard, Roberton Williams, George R. Zodrow

Issues, Choices, and Implications

Reform of the federal income tax system has become a perennial item on the domestic policy agenda of the United States, although there is considerable uncertainty over specifics. Indeed the recent report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform recommended not one but two divergent policy directions (and included extensive discussion of a third). In Fundamental Tax Reform, top experts in tax policy discuss a wide range of issues raised by the prospect of significant tax reform, identifying the most critical questions and considering whether the answers are known, unknown--or unknowable. The debates over tax reform usually concern the advantages and disadvantages of income-based taxation as opposed to any of the several alternative forms of consumption-based taxation. The book opens with chapters that discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and political feasibility of these options. Other chapters consider the effect of tax reform on businesses, especially their investment behavior, and include a discussion of possible problems in any transition to a consumption-based tax; international taxation issues arising in an era of globalization; and individual behavioral response to tax reform, including a view of the topic from the perspective of the relatively new field of behavioral economics. ContributorsRosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach, John W. Diamond, Harry Grubert, Arnold C. Harberger, Kevin A. Hassett, Thomas J. Kniesner, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Edward J. McCaffery, Kathryn Newmark, David Rapson, Daniel Shaviro, Joel Slemrod, James P. Ziliak, George R. ZodrowDiscussants James Alm, Henry J. Aaron, Charles L. Ballard, Leonard E. Burman, Robert S. Chirinko, Robert D. Dietz, Malcolm Gillis, Roger H. Gordon, Jane G. Gravelle, Timothy S. Gunning, James M. Poterba, Thomas S. Neubig, Alan Viard, George Yin John W. Diamond is Edward and Hermena Kelly Fellow in Tax Policy and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University. George R. Zodrow is Professor of Economics and Rice Scholar at the Baker Institute and International Research Fellow at the Centre for Business Taxation, Oxford University.