The Failure of U.S. Tax Policy: Revenue and Politics
The federal courts, the IRS, the private tax bar, and individual taxpayers all struggle just to keep up with increasingly complex tax statutes and ... Show synopsis The federal courts, the IRS, the private tax bar, and individual taxpayers all struggle just to keep up with increasingly complex tax statutes and regulations. The Failure of U.S. Tax Policy surveys federal tax policy in the post-World War II era, with special attention to the last two decades, when it gained much of its complexity. Tax attorney and business law professor Sheldon Pollack shows how the tax policy agenda has been and continues to be influenced by a wide assortment of players, from tax lawyers, the media, and private interest groups and their lobbies to presidential contenders and congressional "policy entrepreneurs, " thereby shaping the development of the tax laws themselves. He proposes an alternative understanding that accounts for the long-term development of the income tax by emphasizing periods of crisis during which the most radical and important changes to the tax laws are made. By combining an empirical study of recent tax legislation with a broader theoretical perspective, this study departs from the typical approach to studying the income tax and makes a significant contribution to understanding federal tax policy, particularly timely in this election year.