A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More by T. R. Reid

By T. R. Reid

The U.S. tax code is a complete write-off. filled with loopholes and targeted curiosity provisions, it really works for nobody other than tax attorneys, accountants, and enormous firms. no longer for the 1st time, we've reached a brink. That occurred in 1922, and back in 1954, and back in 1986. In different phrases, each thirty-two years. because of this the following whole overhaul is due in 2018. yet what may be during this new tax code? do we make the U.S. tax process easier, fairer, and extra effective? convinced, definite, and convinced. do we minimize tax premiums and nonetheless usher in extra profit? certain.
different wealthy international locations, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes which are equitable, potent, and straightforward at the taxpayer.  however the usa has languished. So byzantine are the present statutes that, through our government’s personal estimates, americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion each year getting ready and submitting their taxes. within the Netherlands that job takes an insignificant fifteen mins! winning American businesses like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google successfully pay no tax in any respect in a few cases as a result of loopholes that permit them to maneuver earnings offshore. certainly, the dysfunctional tax approach has develop into a huge explanation for financial inequality.
In A wonderful Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe looking for the precise options to those pressing difficulties. With an uncanny knack for creating a complicated topic not only obtainable yet gripping, he investigates what makes sturdy taxation (no, that’s now not an oxymoron) and brings that wisdom domestic the place it truly is wanted so much. by no means conversing down or reflexively siding with both wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for brilliant root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This impacts everybody. Doing our taxes shouldn't be America's favourite hobby, however it can and will be lots more straightforward and fairer.

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Extra resources for A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

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When the plate was passed, an imposing man in the first row, beautifully dressed and flanked by a retinue of family and servants, ostentatiously donated 1,000 ducats. A couple rows back, a man with even fancier clothing and even more servants made a great show as he gave 2,000 ducats. Eventually, the plate made its way to the back row, to a poor widow, dressed in rags and carrying a moth-eaten cloth handbag. She dug around in the bag for a while and eventually extracted two coins—two “mites,” worth about a penny each—and placed them in the collection plate.

Scooping Water with a Sieve 6. Flat Broke 7. The Defining Problem; the Taxing Solution 8. Convoluted and Pernicious Strategies 9. The Single Tax, the Fat Tax, the Tiny Tax, the Carbon Tax—and No Tax At All 10. The Panama Papers: Sunny Places for Shady Money 11. Simplify, Simplify 12. S. Senate rose to their feet and erupted into cheers, handshakes, and hugs on September 7, 1913, to celebrate final passage of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff Act—the statute that created America’s federal income tax.

The World Bank each year computes government spending as a percentage of overall wealth (GDP) for all the world’s countries. In the poorest countries, where almost nobody has any money, government spending amounts to about 10% of GDP. In the rich countries of western Europe and East Asia, government spends roughly 20% to 26% of GDP (once again, Sweden and Denmark usually have the highest rate of government spending). 5% of our GDP, which puts us near the bottom of the list. Among the world’s richest countries, only South Korea and Mexico had a lower rate of government spending.

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