Research by economist W. Kurt Hauser demonstrates that since World War II U.S. government tax revenues have averaged just under 19% of GDP. This proportion has held steady despite 30 major changes in the tax code across all sources of revenue (e.g., personal income, corporate, investment tax credits, depreciation schedules, Social Security).
Why? Apparently higher tax rates encourage taxpayers “to shift, hide and underreport income…and to divert their effort from pro-growth productive investments to seeking tax shelters, tax havens and tax exempt investments.” Lower tax rates encourage increased productivity and economic growth, and thus increased tax revenue.
Using GDP and tax revenue data over the past two decades for Delaware (1989-09), CRI has found the same taxpayer behavior occurs in the First State...
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