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Tax Reform Would Be the Best Form of Tax Relief

January 19, 2016

By Caroline Baum

Anyone watching the Republican presidential debates over the past few months should be able to discern a common theme. Yes, aside from the insults, invective and internecine sniping, Republicans are united behind a common cause: They want to cut taxes.

This should come as no surprise. Ever since the supply-side revolution of the 1980s and enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the GOP platform has been much simpler than any actual tax-reform proposal: Tax cuts, ├╝ber alles.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for lower taxes, but some perspective is in order. If you glance at a historical table of individual income tax rates, what jumps out at you is how low today's top rate of 39.6 percent really is. With a few exceptions - the latter half of the 1920s (25 percent); 1988-1992 (28-31 percent); the last decade (35 percent) - the current rate is the lowest since the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution authorized Congress to levy "taxes on income from whatever source derived" in 1913.

Read the full article at Economics 21: Tax Reform Would Be the Best Form of Tax Relief

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