A lucid, thorough reflection on the income tax that manages to be both rigorous and accessible.



A bold assessment of the toll that the income tax has exacted on the American economy, coupled with a plan to replace it.

A father and son, in their debut, proffer a brief but densely packed analysis of the income tax. Unlike many treatments of income tax opposition, they don’t dwell on its constitutionality—an argument whose ship has sailed. Instead, they marshal empirical evidence against the tax, arguing that its replacement by a national sales tax would benefit all American citizens. Helpfully, the book begins with a synoptic account of the history of the income tax, which didn’t exist prior to the Civil War and was passed following World War II. It was initially designed to remain a modest measure, the authors write; however, it ballooned into the primary source of the government’s revenue, and the authors assert that it gradually strangled the prospects of fair competition in an increasingly global economic theater. Now, according to the authors, it ranks as an “economic natural disaster.” They devote much of their discussion to dispelling what they consider to be commonly held misconceptions about the income tax. For example, they argue that the tax is actually regressive, not progressive, and that the brunt of it is ultimately paid by consumers who absorb the cost through inflated prices and deflated salaries. Also, they say, the tax is effectively a self-imposed tariff that disadvantages American businesses competing with foreign rivals: “The income tax raises the cost of domestically produced goods sold in the U.S., but it does not apply an equal tax to foreign-produced goods sold in the U.S.” Although they narrowly confine the scope of their investigation to the income tax, their analysis always involves the U.S. economy as a whole, as they contend that the tax is “the major impediment to America’s economic prosperity.” They also judiciously consider the tax’s political context and realistically acknowledge the many obstacles facing the tax’s elimination.

A lucid, thorough reflection on the income tax that manages to be both rigorous and accessible. 

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9860436-04

Page Count: 78

Publisher: Mountain Home Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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