Overcoming the Special Interests that Have Ruined Our Tax Code

30 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Matthew D. Mitchell

Matthew D. Mitchell

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: January 3, 2018

Abstract

Federal, state and local tax policy is a mess. The 2,600 pages of the federal tax code are maddeningly complex and unnecessarily inefficient, but why? This chapter gives a detailed account of how the tax code got to where it is today, the role that special interests have played in creating a bloated tax code, and how we can make the tax code fair for all. Key takeaways: (1) Our tax code is a mess because it reflects the interests of groups looking for special tax treatment. (2) It’s imperative that we understand the history and origins of special interests’ influence on the tax code in order to clean up the mess.

Keywords: tax policy, taxation, tax subsidies, tax code, government favoritism, cronyism, special interests

JEL Classification: H2, H7, H71

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Matthew D., Overcoming the Special Interests that Have Ruined Our Tax Code (January 3, 2018). Excerpt from Adam J. Hoffer and Todd Nesbit, eds., For Your Own Good: Taxes, Paternalism, and Fiscal Discrimination in the Twenty-First Century. Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2018., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173846

Matthew D. Mitchell (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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