San Diego Law Review


Alice G. Abreu

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This Article explores the ways in which tax systems confer and distribute power. All tax systems impose burdens. Even more importantly, some tax systems empower. The extent to which a tax system empowers reflects and implements important values. The concepts of avoidance power and burden power are examined and applied to the federal income tax system and the federal employment tax system. The Author argues that the analysis of the ways in which tax systems empower and a determination of who the systems empower should become a standard part of tax policy analysis. The analysis of choice developed in this Article could be applied to the ongoing debate regarding alternatives to the federal income tax system.

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