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Office Hours: Michael Boskin on Tax Reform


Published: January 22, 2018

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Michael Boskin responds to your questions related to tax reform.

The primary goal of America’s tax code should be to raise the revenue to finance the necessary functions of government in the least distortionary manner possible. Tax systems with broad bases and low tax rates are the most effective foundation for an efficient, growing economy. While consumption taxes are efficient, all forms of taxation should be considered as long as they are revenue-neutral and accompanied by rigorous, enforceable spending controls.

1:20 - Can you explain what broadening the base and lowering rates means, and why it is preferable to our current tax code?
2:01 - Is there a way to broaden the base and lower the rates in a way that maintains progressivity of the tax code, so we don’t shift more of the tax burden on low-income Americans? Or is that inevitable?
3:46 - Why should we care about marginal tax rates instead of average tax rates?
5:26 - Why would you want to tax consumption instead of income, and can you make consumption taxes progressive?
8:21 - How is controlling spending related to taxes?