FairTax Podcast with Bruce Bartlett

December 18, 2007

With the recent surge in the polls of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the FairTax is a hot topic these days. The FairTax, which would replace the current income, payroll, estate and corporate income taxes with a national retail sales tax, has a large following of grassroots supporters, as well as many members of Congress (Senate and House). There are some academic economists who also favor it. On the other hand, it also has its critics and those who question the claims made by FairTax supporters.

The Tax Foundation recently conducted a podcast interview with one of the FairTax’s biggest critics, Bruce Bartlett. Bartlett, once an adviser to President Reagan, has recently drawn the attention of many in policy circles following the release of his book Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, which is critical of the economic policies of the Bush administration.

Last year, the Tax Foundation conducted a podcast with a FairTax supporter, Laurence Kotlikoff, who is a well-respected public finance economist from Boston University and the leading proponent of the FairTax in academic circles.

For more on the FairTax, both pro and con, here are some recommended articles, as well as a video link to an AEI event held earlier this year on the issue:

General information on the FairTax:

The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz and John Linder (Amazon page)

Legislation from Library of Congress (includes text of legislation, status, CRS Summary, cosponsors, etc.)

The FairTax (description from Fairtax.org)

National Retail Sales Tax (President’s Tax Reform Panel chapter on a NRST)

Articles by Laurence Kotlikoff on the FairTax:

The Case for the FairTax (Kotlikoff op-ed in The Wall Street Journal)

Taxing Sales Under the FairTax: What Rate Works? (article in Tax Analysts discussing issues concerning the FairTax rate)

Simulating the Dynamic Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Effects of the FairTax

Comparing Average and Marginal Tax Rates under the FairTax and the Current System of Federal Taxation

Grading the President’s Tax Reform Panel’s Plan

Articles by Brookings economist Bill Gale on the FairTax (mostly questioning the claims of FairTax supporters regarding required rate):

The National Retail Sales Tax: What Would the Rate Have To Be?

National Retail Sales Tax

A Note on the Required Tax Rate in a National Retail Sales Tax: Preliminary Estimates for 2005-2014

The Required Tax Rate in a National Retail Sales Tax

Don’t Buy the Sales Tax

Video of AEI panel discussion (including Kotlikoff and Gale) on what rate works under the FairTax


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