A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

T.R. Reid. Penguin Press, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59420-551-4
Washington Post correspondent Reid (The Healing of America) examines taxation in countries around the world to find alternatives to the American system in this highly readable and informative book. In the U.S., Reid notes, paying taxes is more time-consuming and expensive than in many other countries. Insisting that we can make the tax system “simpler, fairer, and more efficient,” Reid examines a number of options: flat versus progressive tax rates; wealth tax; value-added taxes. Simple charts easily show differences between countries. He also reviews taxation programs that governments use to change behavior—taxes on soft drinks, carbon emissions, and financial activities. Reid declares that the current U.S. corporate income tax system simply “isn’t working” and that nearly “every economist and political figure in America agrees... our tax code has to be reformed.” He offers solid solutions and predicts the time for change has come. In fact, there have been big changes to the U.S. tax code every 32 years since the introduction of federal income tax in 1913. If that pattern repeats, Reid predicts, more sweeping changes will come in 2018. You heard it here first. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/09/2017
Release date: 04/04/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-7873-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-311114-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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