Death by a Thousand Cuts by Michael J. Graetz
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Death by a Thousand Cuts
By Michael J. Graetz

Death by a Thousand Cuts

The Fight Over Taxing Inherited Wealth Revised edition

By (author) See other recent books by Michael J. Graetz See other recent books by Ian Shapiro
Format: Paperback

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Death by a Thousand Cuts by Michael J. Graetz

Book Awards

  • Commended for AAP/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Awards: Government and Political Science 2005.

Book Description

This fast-paced book by Yale professors Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro unravels the following mystery: How is it that the estate tax, which has been on the books continuously since 1916 and is paid by only the wealthiest two percent of Americans, was repealed in 2001 with broad bipartisan support? The mystery is all the more striking because the repeal was not done in the dead of night, like a congressional pay raise. It came at the end of a multiyear populist campaign launched by a few individuals, and was heralded by its supporters as a signal achievement for Americans who are committed to the work ethic and the American Dream. Graetz and Shapiro conducted wide-ranging interviews with the relevant players: members of congress, senators, staffers from the key committees and the Bush White House, civil servants, think tank and interest group representatives, and many others. The result is a unique portrait of American politics as viewed through the lens of the death tax repeal saga. Graetz and Shapiro brilliantly illuminate the repeal campaign's many fascinating and unexpected turns--particularly the odd end result whereby the repeal is slated to self-destruct a decade after its passage. They show that the stakes in this fight are exceedingly high; the very survival of the long standing American consensus on progressive taxation is being threatened. Graetz and Shapiro's rich narrative reads more like a political drama than a conventional work of scholarship. Yet every page is suffused by their intimate knowledge of the history of the tax code, the transformation of American conservatism over the past three decades, and the wider political implications of battles over tax policy.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691127897
ISBN-10: 0691127891
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Pages: 392
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 24-Jul-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Michael J. Graetz

End of Energy by Michael J. Graetz End of Energy, Paperback (February 2013)

Forty years of energy incompetence: villains, failures of leadership, and missed opportunities.

100 Million Unnecessary Returns by Michael J. Graetz 100 Million Unnecessary Returns, Paperback (January 2010)

Maintains that our tax code has become a tangle of loopholes, paperwork, and inconsistencies, a massive social programme that fails tests of simplicity and fairness; more importantly, our tax system has failed to keep pace with the changing economy, creating burdens and wastes of resources that weigh our nation down.

Uncharted Waters by Michael J. Graetz Uncharted Waters, Paperback (April 2005)

In the debate over Social Security reform, most of the work on individual accounts has focused on how individuals would save and manage those accounts during their working lives. Uncharted Waters goes further and addresses the often neglected questions about how and under what circumstances funds could be withdrawn from these accounts.

True Security by Michael J. Graetz True Security, Paperback (September 1999)

Social security in the USA may be the greatest triumph of American domestic policy. But true security has not been achieved. This work shows that the nation's system of social insurance is riddled with gaps, inefficiencies and inequities.

» View all books by Michael J. Graetz

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Author Biography - Michael J. Graetz

Michael J. Graetz is the Justus S. Hotchkiss Professor of Law at Yale University and one of America's foremost experts on tax policy. Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science and Henry R. Luce Director of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, and a leading political theorist.

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