The Tax Reform Act of 1986: Comment on the 25th Anniversary
AbstractThe Tax Reform Act of 1986 was a powerful pro-growth force for the American economy. Equally important, as we look back on it after 25 years, we also see that it taught us two important lessons. First, it showed that politicians with very different political philosophies on the right and on the left could agree on a major program of tax rate reduction and tax reform. Second, it showed that the amount of taxable income is very sensitive to marginal tax rates. More specifically, the evidence based on the 1986 tax rate reductions shows that the response of taxpayers to reductions in marginal tax rates offsets a substantial portion of the revenue that would otherwise be lost. This implies that combining a broadening of the tax base that raises revenue equal to 10 percent of existing personal income tax revenue with a 10 percent across the board cut in all marginal tax rates would raise revenue equal to about four percent of existing tax revenue. With personal income tax revenue in 2011 of about $1 trillion, that four percent increase in net revenue would be $40 billion at the current level of taxable income or more than $500 billion over the next ten years.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17531.
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H0 - Public Economics - - General
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2011-10-22 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CIS-2011-10-22 (Confederation of Independent States)
- NEP-HIS-2011-10-22 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-PUB-2011-10-22 (Public Finance)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.