Why Not Tax the Rich? Review of Kleinbard’s 'We are Better Than This'

7 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2014 Last revised: 7 Nov 2014

Date Written: October 18, 2014


Ed Kleinbard’s new book, We Are Better Than This (OUP, 2014), is a well-balanced and important contribution to the tax literature. Kleinbard convincingly sets out the case for addressing inequality not through taxation but rather through spending. While the emphasis on treating both sides of the federal budget ledger with equal respect is not new (Michael Graetz, for one, said it in the 1980s), Kleinbard updates the analysis and addresses it to a wider audience. Kleinbard’s book is also well positioned as an antidote to Thomas Piketty’s obsession with taxing the rich. The problem with the book, however, is that its proposed solutions are much too narrow.

Keywords: Tax reform, progressive taxation

JEL Classification: H26

Suggested Citation

Avi-Yonah, Reuven S., Why Not Tax the Rich? Review of Kleinbard’s 'We are Better Than This' (October 18, 2014). U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 426, U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 14-022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2511575 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2511575

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-4033 (Phone)

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