About John O. Fox

From 1964 through 2000, Mr. Fox practiced law in Washington, D.C., specializing in tax and related matters; for a number of those years, he taught tax planning at Catholic University's Law School. After moving to Massachusetts in 1984, he combined a part-time law practice in Washington, D.C. with teaching courses on U.S. tax policy and poverty in the U.S. at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He has written three books, If Americans Really Understood the Income Tax (2001), 10 Tax Questions the Candidates Don't Want You to Ask (2004), plus an update in 2008, as well as numerous op-eds about tax issues for newspapers and other publications throughout the country.

Mr. Fox has updated his 10 Tax Questions book from 2008 for the same reasons that prompted the book then. Politicians from both parties speak about taxes in sound bites that make policies sound better or worse than they are. It is his hope that, with these 10 questions about important tax issues, framed in a manner that readers can understand, Americans will be able to form their own judgments about which policies make most sense. Some readers might even feel empowered to ask presidential or Congressional candidates the questions. With their answers, we would understand a good deal about the basic values of candidates as well as how they think about tax issues.


I wish to thank friends and relatives who have offered useful comments about drafts of these 10 tax questions. I am particularly grateful to Robert Repetto, a leading environmental economist who understands my challenge from his years of teaching at Harvard and Yale, and to my cousin Evelyn Idelson, the best editor I could imagine. I am also grateful to the hundreds of students I’ve taught at Mount Holyoke who have asked great questions that have helped me become a better teacher and writer.

I also have had the good fortune to work with Bronwen Hodgkinson, a talented web and graphic designer. Bronwen drew upon her extensive understanding of online publishing to help place the materials on the internet.

Finally, I will repeat here the usual disclaimer. I take full responsibility for the entire manuscript. Any errors are my own.


This book is dedicated to my sister, Myra Fox, who died far too young just over one year ago. Myra became a pioneer in the United States and countries around the world in improving the quality of life of children while receiving treatment in a hospital. The hospital reforms that she helped bring about will endure forever. I can’t imagine a greater legacy.

Curriculum Vitae



Law Reviews:

Opinion Articles:

Past Practice of Law:  from 1964 through 2000, engaged in the private practice of law in Washington, D.C., specializing in tax, business, financial, real estate, and estate planning matters

Other Activities:

Academic Background:

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