There are two days this year when millions of adults like you play pivotal roles as Americans. The first is April 15, when you pay your taxes. The second is November 6, when you vote for the people you want to spend them.

If you're like most of us, you’ll pick your candidates mainly by how much you like and trust them—their smiles, their voices, your sense of their integrity and capacity to lead. But policy issues also affect your choice. You’ll want to know where they stand on Iraq, terrorism, unemployment, Social Security, federal deficits. And on lots of social issues—involving housing, health care, education, marriage, and much more.

All of which means that you’d better remember April 15 when November 6 comes around. Why? Because our tax laws cut across all of American life. Except for the U.S. Constitution, they represent the most comprehensive expression of our government’s official values. What these laws tax or exempt, reward or ignore, crucially shape who we are as a nation and what we will become.

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#5: Relationship Between Tax Rates and Productivity

The Myth & Misconception: Periods in U.S. history during which high-income individuals were taxed at relatively low tax rates are marked by higher rates of economic productivity than are periods when the top tax rates on individuals were relatively high.


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About If Americans Really Understood the Income Tax:

In a clear, interesting, and convincing way, John Fox tells why our tax system is a mess, how it got that way, and how it can be fixed. Further, he makes the case that fundamental reform need not be a partisan cause. What has prevented real improvement of the system has been a lack of will by congresses and administrations supported by a lack of understanding by taxpayers. Fox’s book, widely read, will cure this lack of understanding. I highly recommend it."

Jerome Kurtz, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, 1977-1980

About John O. Fox

John O. Fox spent 36 years wrestling with the tax laws as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the highly praised book If Americans Really Understood the Income Tax (Westview, 2001). Mr. Fox has commented frequently about tax issues on radio and television, and his articles on what’s right and wrong with the U.S. revenue system have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and many other newspapers. For over 25 years, he taught "Winners and Losers," a course on U.S. tax policy at Mount Holyoke College.

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