Taxing Ourselves

A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate Over Tax Reform

By Jon Bakija and Joel Slemrod





Out of Print ISBN: 9780262193757 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262692083 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • An excellent book.

    New York Times, Praise for an earlier edition

  • A fair-minded exposition of a politically loaded subject.

    Kirkus Reviews, Praise for an earlier edition


  • Slemrod and Bakija have packed a wealth of solid economics into this readable treatment of tax reform issues. It will be a great resource for students, in school and out, and should be required reading for policy makers and journalists.

    David F. Bradford

    Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson school, Princeton University; Former Member, President's Council of Economic Advisors

  • This book is must reading for anyone interested in the promise and problems of tax reform. Even where I disagreed with some conclusions, I found the analysis thoughtful and useful.

    Michael J. Boskin

    Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; former Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisors

  • As politicians tout the wonders of alternative tax reform plans, voters need an objective, dispassionate guide to the debate. In filling this need, Slemrod and Bakija describes the objectives of tax policy, discuss the defects of the present tax system, explain the current proposals, and offer a clear and sober analysis of what reform can (and cannot) achieve. All, including the policy makers themselves, can benefit from reading this book.

    Alan J. Auerbach

    Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law Director, Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance University of California Berkeley

  • This book is everything that one would like it to be: clearly written, evenhanded, and technically correct (although it employs neither jargon nor difficult mathematics).

    Harvey Rosen

    John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy, Princeton University

  • A sensible and down to earth guide through the thicket of tax reform, a much needed primer that should be widely read.

    Richard Musgrave

    H. H. Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, Harvard University

  • In the ever-changing world of tax policy, Taxing Ourselves remains a constant. It is an indispensable guide to the current U.S. tax system and an accessible and insightful introduction to options for reform.

    James M. Poterba

    Mitsui Professor of Economics, MIT

  • Slemrod and Bakija have made their splendid guide to the federal tax system as fresh and current as this morning's newspaper. Careful readers will be immunized against the easy sophistries that too often masquerade as tax policy debate. This third edition lays out sophisticated economic analysis in simple language that should make it an oft-consulted companion of students, journalists, lawyers, officials, and virtually anyone else who wants to make their way through the weird terrain of the U.S. tax system.

    Henry J. Aaron

    The Brookings Institution