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A Flat Tax?

January 1996

On January 17, 1996, a Republican committee sparked heated debate by proposing a flat tax--that is, a fixed rate of income tax applied across-the-board to all who earn above a specified amount. Forty-four years ago Congress considered a similar proposal. In "Can We Limit Taxes to 25 Per Cent?" (The Atlantic Monthly, August, 1952) the Dean of the Harvard Law School, Erwin N. Griswold, warned against adoption of the plan: "Its inherent dangers should be obvious to thoughtful persons. It is time to wake up to what is going on and to fight hard against this foolhardy plan." Is this sort of opposition still valid today?

Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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