Saturday, July 31, 2004
Michael J. (“Mike”) McIntyre has been an active player in the tax reform movement in the United States and elsewhere for over three decades. He has written widely on many tax topics and is especially well known for his work on international taxation, taxation of the family, the deduction for interest payments, and taxation at the state level. Since 1975, he has been a professor of law at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has served as a consultant to national governments on six continents and to many states of the United States. He started his career in taxation in private practice (Ivins, Phillips & Barker) and then served for four years as Director of Training, International Tax Program, Harvard Law School.
Throughout his career, Professor McIntyre has participated in the public debate on tax policy. He is quoted frequently in the national press and has provided technical advice to many staffers on Capitol Hill. He has testified many times on tax issues before various congressional committee, usually on international tax matters. He recently testified before the Ways and Means Committee in favor of a “clean” repeal of an illegal tax subsidy for U.S. exports that has caused the European Union to impose penalty tariffs on U.S. exports. He was quoted on the front page of the Washington Post in opposition to the “unclean” bills passed by both houses of Congress with the support of the Bush administration. He claimed in the story that Congress was using the money saved by repeal of the illegal export subsidy to make investment abroad even more attractive to U.S.-based multinationals than investment in the United States. (See TaxProf Blog coverage here.)
In Mike’s view, the creation of wealth has become increasingly easy in the modern world, whereas the fair distribution of wealth has become increasingly elusive. As a result, he generally favors tax policies that give primary emphasis to distributional goals, although he argues that wealth creation and tax fairness are very often complementary goals. Even in developing countries, where he has worked extensively over the years, he argues that distributional goals need to be the centerpiece of a country’s tax policy. In his view, a “growth only” approach is unfair and promotes political instability. In addition, such a policy almost always leads to special-interest legislation at odds with sound economic principles. “Countries that sacrifice fairness for economic growth almost always get neither,” McIntyre asserts.
Mike is not the only prominent tax reformer in the McIntyre family. His brother, Bob McIntyre, is the Director of Citizens for Tax Justice and appears regularly in the national media. According to Mike, “Bob is the most effective American tax reformer since Stanley Surrey.” Both brothers would agree, however, that no one has been very effective in promoting tax reform in America over the past several years. In their view, current policies have made the tax system less fair and have retarded economic growth.
As a leading tax academic, Professor McIntyre has written many books, articles, and essays on a wide range of tax topics. He was the founding editor of Tax Notes International, one of the leading international tax journals, published by Tax Analysis, a public-interest organization. In his role as editor, he wrote a series of stylish essays that often amused and occasionally enraged the international tax community. He has often been on the cutting edge of legal scholarship. Among his many important writings are:
• The Use of Combined Reporting by Nation States, in The Taxation of Business Profits Under Tax Treaties (Canadian Tax Foundation, 2003) (Brian Arnold, Jacques Sasseville, & Eric Zolt, editors)
• The International Income Tax Rules of the United States (LexisNexis, 2d ed. 2002) (2 volume looseleaf)
• Designing a Combined Reporting Regime for a State Corporate Income Tax: A Case Study of Louisiana, 61 La. L. Rev. 699 (2001) (with Paull Mines & Richard Pomp)
• Fixing the “Marriage Penalty” Problem, 33 Valp. U. L. Rev. 907 (1999) (with Robert S. McIntyre)
• Taxing Electronic Commerce Fairly and Efficiently, 52 Tax L. Rev. 625 (1997)
• Tracing Rules and the Deduction for Interest Payments: A Justification for Tracing and a Critique of U.S. Tracing Rules, 39 Wayne L. Rev. 67 (1992)
In recent years, Mike has been active as a consultant to the United Nation’s Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. He has sought to improve the institutional framework for international tax cooperation by enhancing the status of the Expert Group within the United Nations, as a counter to the various international organizations that give excessive deference, in his view, to the wishes of multinational enterprises.
Like many tax academics, Mike has many interests aside from taxation. Those interests include gardening, tennis, reading unimportant books, and watching the Red Sox on TV. He grew up in southern Massachusetts and inherited the local affliction — an irrational optimism that the Red Sox would soon be winning the World Series. His wife (born in Salem, Massachusetts) and one of his two sons also are avid Red Sox fans, and the other son would favor the Red Sox if he could bring himself to have any interest in baseball. His father, now 96, took Mike to many ball games at Fenway Park. The father remembers well the last Red Sox World Series victory — he was 10 years old at the time.
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July 31, 2004 in Tax Prof Spotlight | Permalink
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