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Taxation and Big Brother: information, personalisation and privacy in 21st century tax policy


  • Joel Slemrod


I view part of my responsibility as to report on fiscal developments in the United States. Any report from the States would have to note that the past several weeks have been tumultuous, what with the nomination and hearings regarding a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the devastating Hurricane Katrina. On the fiscal front, we are awaiting the report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, which is expected to outline one or more income tax reform options and at least one consumption tax alternative as a replacement for the income tax. I will try here to touch on all of these developments. I shall begin with the nomination of John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. You may be interested to know that Roberts wrote his undergraduate thesis at Harvard about British politics, about the fate, a century ago, of the British Liberal Party which, after winning a landslide victory in 1906, never won another general election. His thesis was that politicians, and judges for that matter, should be wary of the assumption that the future will be little more than an extension of things as they are today.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Slemrod, 2006. "Taxation and Big Brother: information, personalisation and privacy in 21st century tax policy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:27:y:2006:i:1:p:1-15

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernardi, Luigi, 2006. "A family of big brother that do not talk each other," MPRA Paper 1867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Benny Geys & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Borders As Boundaries To Fiscal Policy Interactions? An Empirical Analysis Of Politicians’ Opinions On Rivals In The Competition For Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 583-606, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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