A longtime correspondent for The Washington Post, bestselling author T. R. Reid is known for his ability to convey complex topics in plain English. In A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System, he takes on the U.S. tax code. Detailing a myriad of issues, he makes the argument that the current system fails to serve the vast majority of Americans and that it’s time start from scratch and build a new one. This is something that’s happened before: in 1922, in 1954, and again in 1986—every thirty-two years. Which means the next rewrite is due in 2018. Can we write a new tax code that is fair and simple? Can we cut tax rates and still bring in the revenue required? Reid researched tax codes around the world in search of best practices. Discussing what he discovered and comparing it with the dysfunction in the U.S. system, he makes the case that while doing our taxes may never be America’s favorite pastime, it can and should be so much easier.
Presented by: University Book Store and Town Hall as a part of our Civics series.
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