There are two days this year when millions of adults like you play pivotal roles as Americans. The first is April 15, when you pay your taxes. The second is November 6, when you vote for the people you want to spend them.

If you're like most of us, you’ll pick your candidates mainly by how much you like and trust them—their smiles, their voices, your sense of their integrity and capacity to lead. But policy issues also affect your choice. You’ll want to know where they stand on Iraq, terrorism, unemployment, Social Security, federal deficits. And on lots of social issues—involving housing, health care, education, marriage, and much more.

All of which means that you’d better remember April 15 when November 6 comes around. Why? Because our tax laws cut across all of American life. Except for the U.S. Constitution, they represent the most comprehensive expression of our government’s official values. What these laws tax or exempt, reward or ignore, crucially shape who we are as a nation and what we will become.

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#2: What the Flat Tax Taxes

The Myth & Misconception: A flat tax would apply a single, flat tax rate to all forms of income.

QUESTION #3

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About If Americans Really Understood the Income Tax:

John Fox brings us back to reality: what do we really want from our income tax system? We canít keep messing it up step by step, and we canít rely upon one-line sound bites to fix it. Fox offers a comprehensive analysis: how the system evolved, what it is, and how we can make it much better. If you care about taxation, then you must care enough to read this superbly crafted book."

C. Eugene Steuerle, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.

About John O. Fox

John O. Fox spent 36 years wrestling with the tax laws as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the highly praised book If Americans Really Understood the Income Tax (Westview, 2001). Mr. Fox has commented frequently about tax issues on radio and television, and his articles on whatís right and wrong with the U.S. revenue system have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and many other newspapers. For over 25 years, he taught "Winners and Losers," a course on U.S. tax policy at Mount Holyoke College.

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