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Taking issue with those who contend that the income on which
taxes are paid should be the same as what an economist would consider
"net income," Professor Bittker urges that a neutral, scientific
measure of taxable income is a mirage. In many of the vexed
areas of income definition, the concept of economic income yields
no help; in others, it implies results from which even its proponents
would recoil. There is no touchstone for tax reform: proposals
must be considered provision by provision and policy by policy,
on their particular merits.

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