After brief individual presentations, panelists discuss among themselves and with the audience a broad spectrum of issues regarding various taxes and tax reform proposals. The discussion includes such issues as privatizing Social Security and Medicare, eliminating income tax withholding, and the merits and demerits of income taxes, consumption taxes, value added taxes, sales taxes, and taxes on resources that have an inelastic supply. One panelist relates his recent experiences using his tools as an economist to deal with tax and related issues as a current member of the Canadian Parliament. Another cites practical problems of implementing tax reform from his long experience advising governments, especially in Latin America. A major focus of the exchange of views is on public choice problems involved in passing and implementing a so-called flat tax. However, the discussion also deals with economic efficiency and equity considerations and with nearly all other types of taxes. The discussion includes not only the impact on the country within which tax reform occurs, but international implications, as well. Copyright 1997 Western Economic Association International.
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