THE TAX REFORM ACT OF 1986: CONCENTRATED COSTS, DIFFUSE BENEFITS-AN INVERSION OF PUBLIC CHOICE
The public choice paradigm asserts the superior force of concentrated benefits over diffuse costs in the political marketplace. Vote-seeking politicians exchange favors for support to members of special interest groups, whereas the public at large places fewer demands on and have less clout with politicians. The historical evolution of the federal income tax fits the public choice paradigm. Each provision in the tax code benefits primarily a narrow interest. Little incentive exists for anyone to represent such general interests as a broad-based, low-rate, simple tax system. Copyright 1988 Western Economic Association International.
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