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Gabriel Zucman on Flat Tax - Dictionary of Arguments

Saez I 187
Flat rate tax/Saez/Zucman: The “flat tax” proposed by the economists Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka in 1985 and embraced by many conservatives is in reality a consumption tax at a flat rate, like a VAT, but it’s often disguised as an income tax to make it more appealing.(1) The national income tax is more comprehensive and fairer, since it does not discriminate across different uses of your income (consumption versus saving). >Income tax/Saez.


1. Hall and Rabushka (1985) proposed the “flat tax”:
- Hall, Robert, and Alvin Rabushka. The Flat Tax. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1985.
Viard and Carroll (2012) present a description of various consumption tax proposals. They lucidly point out that flat tax proposals disguised as income taxes are challenging to sell to the public because they would be “income taxes” exempting interest income, dividend income, and realized capital gains - that is, exempting the forms of income which are highly concentrated among the rich:
- Viard, Alan, and Robert Carroll. Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X Tax Revisited. Washington, DC: AEI Press, 2012.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Zucman, Gabriel


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