The Impact of Taxes on the American Economy

The Impact of Taxes on the American Economy

The Impact of Taxes on the American Economy

The Impact of Taxes on the American Economy

Excerpt

Tax analysis is one of man's oldest intellectual pursuits, since it began not long after the first primitive leader began clubbing tax payments out of his subjects. In the history of economics, the first few thousand years were devoted solely to the analysis of taxation. The interest continues, and modern literature on taxation is almost as extensive as its history is old. This previous effort makes it possible to provide a comprehensive estimate of the quantitative impact of taxes on the American economy, though, unfortunately, these estimates cannot be obtained from a simple compilation of existing materials.

In some cases there is general agreement among economists on the proper modes of analysis and probable effects, but the analysis has been done at widely varying times and upon inconsistent sets of data. Thus many of the estimates of this book are simply a matter of applying existing analysis to reasonably up-to-date and consistent sets of data. Because of data limitations it is not possible to use data from exactly the same years, but most of the data came from the same period. Given probable ranges of error, the remaining inconsistencies are not important.

While there is a wide range of agreement on the impact of taxes, there are areas in which fundamental differences exist as to proper modes of analysis and probable effects. When these differences do exist, they will be pointed out, the various approaches will be outlined, and the range of probable effects indicated. But I will also indicate the mode of analysis and effects that I believe to be correct. It will be these effects that are carried into the final analysis.

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