Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 10, 2020

Oh Reviews Glogower's Taxing Inequality

Jason H. Oh (UCLA), Combining Income and Wealth into a Single Instrument, 93 N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online 174 (2018) (reviewing Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Taxing Inequality, 93 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1421 (2018)):

Ari Glogower’s Taxing Inequality is an ambitious, thought-provoking piece. He makes three major arguments: (1) that the economic power theory justifies taxing wealth in addition to income, (2) that separate taxes on wealth and income are inferior to a combined tax that incorporates both into a single instrument, and (3) that the best way to accomplish this goal is to include in income an amount equal to an annuity-equivalent portion of the taxpayer’s wealth. Although it departs from the structure of the article, I will address (2) before considering (1) and (3) together. ...

In conclusion, this piece is an important contribution to the tax literature and well worth reading. Glogower’s article asks us to think more capaciously about how wealth could be incorporated into an income tax. He offers the annuity-equivalent amount as one possibility. I agree that it would be fruitful to think harder about how the fiscal system should tax income and wealth. Glogower’s article and the emerging optimal tax literature on wealth urge us to interrogate that combination more carefully.

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