Heading Off a Cliff?

8 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2017 Last revised: 10 Dec 2017

See all articles by Michael J. Graetz

Michael J. Graetz

Columbia Law School; Yale Law School

Date Written: October 25, 2017


The major tax policy challenge of the 21st century is the need to address the nation’s fiscal condition fairly and in a manner conducive to economic growth. But since California adopted Proposition 13 nearly forty years ago, antipathy to taxes has served as the glue that has held the Republican coalition together. Even though our taxes as a percentage of our economy are low by OECD standards and low by our own historical experience, anti-tax attitudes have become even more important for Republicans politically, since they now find it hard to agree on almost anything else. So revenue-positive, or even revenue-neutral, forms of tax reform — at least as long as the GOP maintains its legislative majority — are politically impossible. The sad truth, of course, is that the coming tax cuts cannot possibly be the great and simplifying tax reform that the President and Sixers claim and that our nation so badly needs.

Keywords: U.S. Tax Law, Policy, Fiscal, Economic Growth, Anti-Tax

Suggested Citation

Graetz, Michael J., Heading Off a Cliff? (October 25, 2017). The American Interest, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 585; Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3059945

Michael J. Graetz (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/MGraetz.htm

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