StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Tax Reform Resources

24 Nov 2009
Posted by Bruce Bartlett
Next week, the White House is expected to release a proposal for simplifying the tax system. In the hopes that this will lead to a discussion of tax reform, which all tax experts believe is badly needed, I have compiled a list of full-text online tax reform resources. Hopefully, this will prevent wasted efforts on reinventing the wheel. Readers should feel free to post suggested additions in the comments. I will update this list from time to time.
Tax Analysts, Toward Tax Reform (9-09).
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Economic Growth and the Role of Taxation: Aggregate Data (7-09).
White House, Press briefing by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag on tax reform (3-09)
Congressional Research Service (CRS), Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 111th Congress (3-09).
White House, “Summary of Tax Reform Session,” Fiscal Responsibility Summit (2-09).
Institute for Fiscal Studies (UK), Mirrlees Review papers (2009).
National Taxpayer Advocate, “The Complexity of the Tax Code,” Annual Report to Congress (12-08).
Dave Rifkin (Georgetown University), An Overview of the “Tax Gap” (11-08).
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Public Opinion on Taxes (6-08).
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), Joint Forum on Tax Compliance (6-08).
Jason Furman (now of the White House’s National Economic Council), “Health Reform Through Tax Reform: A Primer,” Health Affairs (May-June 2008).
Senate Finance Committee, hearing on tax reform (4-08).
OMB Watch, Bridging the Tax Gap (1-08).
European Union, “The Efficiency of Tax Systems,” Public Finances in EMU, chapter 4 (2008).
Department of Finance (Canada), “Considerations in Setting Canada’s Corporate Income Tax Rate,” Tax Expenditures and Evaluations (2008).
Sean Raft (Santa Clara University), “Imagining a Progressive and Comprehensive Consumption Tax,” Oregon Law Review (2007-2008).
Bruce Bartlett, “Why the FairTax Won’t Work,” Tax Notes (12-07).
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tax Policy: Recent Trends and Coming Challenges (12-07).
Daniel Shaviro (New York University Law School), “Beyond the Pro-Consumption Tax Consensus,” Stanford Law Review (12-07).
Joseph Bankman (Stanford Law School) and David Weisbach (University of Chicago), “Consumption Taxation Is Still Superior to Income Taxation,” Stanford Law Review (12-07).
AARP, Spending Entitlements and Tax Entitlements (5-07). I had trouble hyperlinking to this paper so here is the URL:
Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka (both of the Hoover Institution at Stanford), The Flat Tax (2007).
U.S. Treasury Department, A Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing the Tax Gap (9-06).
Senate Finance Committee, hearing on business tax reform (9-06).
Senate Finance Committee, hearing on tax reform (8-06).
Austan Goolsbee (now a member of the Council of Economic Advisers), The Simple Return: Reducing America’s Tax Burden Through Return-Free Filing (7-06).
Charles McLure Jr. (Stanford University) and George Zodrow (Rice University), Consumption-Based Direct Taxes: A Guided Tour of the Amusement Park (7-07).
World Resources Institute, Greening the Tax Code (6-06).
House Ways and Means Committee, hearing on international tax reform (6-06).
House Ways and Means Committee, hearing on corporate tax reform (5-06).
Joseph Bankman (Stanford) and David Weisbach (University of Chicago), “The Superiority of an Ideal Consumption Tax Over an Ideal Income Tax,” Stanford Law Review (3-06).
President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, Simple, Fair, and Pro-Growth: Proposals to Fix America’s Tax System (11-05).
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Understanding Tax Reform: A Guide to 21st Century Alternatives (9-05).
C. Alan Garner (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), “Consumption Taxes: Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Issues,” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Review (2nd quarter 2005).
Alan Greenspan (then chairman of the Federal Reserve Board), Testimony before the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform (3-05).
Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), “Options for Tax Reform,” Economic Report of the President, chapter 3 (2-05).
David Bradford (Princeton University), “A Tax System for the Twenty-First Century,” Toward Fundamental Tax Reform, chapter 1 (2005).
Bill Gale (Brookings Institution), “Tax Reform in the Real World,” Toward Fundamental Tax Reform, chapter 2 (2005).
Michael Graetz (Yale), “A Fair and Balanced Tax System for the Twenty-First Century,” Toward Fundamental Tax Reform, chapter 3 (2005).
Robert Hall (Hoover Institution), “Guidelines for Tax Reform: The Simple, Progressive Value-Added Consumption Tax,” Toward Fundamental Tax Reform, chapter 4 (2005).
Committee for Economic Development (CED), A New Tax Framework: A Blueprint for Averting a Fiscal Crisis (2005).
Daniel Shaviro (NYU), “Replacing the Income Tax With a Progressive Consumption Tax,” Tax Notes (4-04).
David Weisbach (University of Chicago) and Jacob Nussim (University of Haifa), The Integration of Tax and Spending Programs (3-04).
David Bradford (Princeton), The X Tax in the World Economy (2004).
Edward McCaffery (USC), “Ten Facts About Fundamental Tax Reform,” Tax Notes (12-03).
Dale Jorgenson (Harvard), “Efficient Taxation of Income,” Harvard Magazine (March-April 2003).
CEA, “Tax Policy for a Growing Economy,” Economic Report of the President, chapter 5 (2-03).
Pam Olson, assistant secretary for tax policy, memorandum on tax reform to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill (11-02).
Michael Graetz (Yale), “100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Fresh Start for the U.S. Tax System,” Yale Law Journal (11-02).
New York State Bar Association Tax Section, Report on Simplification of the Internal Revenue Code (3-02).
JCT, Study of the Overall State of the Federal Tax System and Recommendations for Simplification, Pursuant to Section 8022 (3)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3 (4-01).
Annette Nellen (San Jose State U.), Tax Reform in the United States (6-99).
National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform (Kemp Commission), Unleashing America’s Potential: A Pro-Growth, Pro-Family Tax System for the 21st Century (1-96).
Martin Sullivan (Tax Analysts), Flat Taxes and Consumption Taxes: A Guide to the Debate (12-95).
Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform (Kerrey-Danforth), Final Report to the President (1-95).
U.S. Treasury Department, Tax Reform for Fairness, Simplicity, and Economic Growth, 3 vols. (1984).
Institute for Fiscal Studies (Meade Committee), The Structure and Reform of Direct Taxation (1978).
U.S. Treasury Department, Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform (1-77).


Thank you for compiling the great list of reports over the past many years. I see that you have a 1999 report of mine listed (as well as a more recent one in the Tax Analysts 2009 report). It is amazing, perhaps, that this 1999 report is still mostly timely in describing the needs for reform and the types of proposals. I recently noted this in a blog entry - Tax Reform Reruns -

It will be interesting to see what is issued on December 4 by President Obama's task force. While not intended to be "major" reform, even suggestions and actions on simplification and reducing the tax gap would be good reforms.

Just thanks

dude you're a freakin' godsend. for a former cynic like me, it's good to know some people actually take governing, policy seriously. thanks a bunch!


I appreciate your effort, and I especially noted your inclusion of what I think is the Donald Reagan-era Treasury study of taxation from 1984 that was really well done and totally ignored. I hope that we can get beyond the parties posturing and get a system that is efficient, fair and transparent.


The 1984 Treasury report was not ignored. On the contrary, it formed the basis for the 1986 tax reform. Of course, the final legislation differed substantially from the Treasury proposal, but given the nature of the congressional meat grinder it's remarable that a lot of what Treasury proposed survived until then end.

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