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Abstract

Recent reports of the demise of the federal income tax-like earlier reports of Mark Twain's death-have proved to be highly exaggerated. Tax-reform efforts have coalesced over the past year on the goal of restructuring the income tax to promote, as the Treasury has put it, "fairness, simplicity and economic growth," rather than replacing the income tax with a consumption tax, as had been recommended by many academics and, in 1977, by the Treasury. This bipartisan consensus has generated three similar, yet distinct, proposals for a "modified flat-rate tax"-that is, a tax that imposes a lower and less progressive rate schedule on an income-tax base that has been broadened by the repeal of many of the tax preferences of current law

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