The Ideas of Tax Reformers and Taxpayers, and Federal Tax Reforms in the United States, 1954-1969

Seiichiro Mozumi, Yokohama National University

In the United State, many public finance experts have suggested the necessity of significant federal tax reforms, making federal tax system fairer, simpler, more equitable, and improving its revenue-raising ability to finance the federal government and its adequate social programs for the nation. Several tax historians have demonstrated this is a subject that has been left undone since the end of World War II. 1954-1969 was one of most momentous period with respect to a comprehensive tax reform. During this period, tax experts and economists inside and outside the US Department of Treasury and Congress made great efforts to accomplish such kinds of tax reform. Furthermore, taxpayers began raising their voice to require tax reforms that would reduce their tax burden, or correct inequity of federal tax system. This paper attempts to examine the tax ideas and efforts of tax experts both inside and outside the US Department of Treasury, Congress, and congressional committees, in particular, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation to accomplish the comprehensive tax reform during 1954-1969. In the meantime, it also attempts to examine how taxpayers in this period felt their tax burden and seen the efforts of tax experts for tax reform. Finally, this paper attempts to demonstrate how the two factors influenced federal tax politics, and results of federal tax reform efforts.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 47. Facts and Fictions: Expert Ideas in the Politics of Public Finance