Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Loading
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Obituary – David Bradford

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on March 4th, 2005 (All posts by )

    David Bradford was an advocate of tax simplification and flattened rates, and the author of “Untangling the Income Tax” (Harvard University Press, 1986). His first preference was for a straight consumption tax (VAT or sales tax). Another interesting proposal was a tax only earned income, leaving returns on capital untaxed. The reasoning behind this was that

    • earnings are roughly equivalent to consumption, given a low rate of savings;
    • such a tax could be made politically palatable by allowing some different tax rates;
    • it would eliminate the “tax arbitrage” of the mortgage interest exemption (high-bracket taxpayers pay deductible mortgage interest, some of which is in turn paid to low-bracket taxpayers as taxable income on passbook savings), and
    • it would be easier to administer and harder to evade than a VAT.

    Dr. Bradford served in the Ford and Bush 41 administrations. His analysis of the income tax law in effect in the 1970’s led to the extraordinary bracket-flattening of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 during the Reagan administration. Another obituary here.

    Update: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.