NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Laura Kalambokidis

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2003Do We Now Collect Any Revenue From Taxing Capital Income?
with Roger H. Gordon, Joel Slemrod: w9477
The U.S. income tax has long been recognized as a hybrid of an income and consumption tax, with elements that do not fit naturally into either pure system. The precise nature of this hybrid has important policy implications for, among other things, understanding the impact of moving closer to a pure consumption tax regime. In this paper, we examine the nature of the U.S. income tax by calculating the revenue and distributional implications of switching from the current system to one form of consumption tax, a modified cash flow tax. Although earlier work had suggested that in 1983 such a switch would have cost little or no revenue at all, we calculate that in 1995 this switch would have cost $108.1 billion in tax revenues, suggesting that the U.S. income tax does impose some positive tax...

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