Administration Problems of an Expenditure Tax

  • Christian Seidl
Conference paper


An expenditure tax has been endorsed at various times by a respectable number of most notable scholars such as Thomas Hobbes, John Revans, John Stuart Mill, Eduard Pfeiffer, Alfred Marshall, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Arthur Cecil Pigou, Irving Fisher, Luigi Einaudi, Joseph A. Schumpeter, Nicholas Kaldor, and James Edward Meade, to name only the most prominent ones. Over the years several motions have been proposed to enact an expenditure tax, or to consider it for possible enactment. Such proposals include John Stuart Mill’s famous suggestion to the Select Committee on Income and Property Tax in 18611, the considerations of the Colwyn Committee on National Debt and Taxation2, Congressman Ogden L. Mills’ motion of a spending tax bill put before the U.S. House of Representatives in 19213, Mr. Morgenthau’s proposal of an expenditure tax to pay for the war submitted to the Finance Committee of the Senate of the United States in September 19424, the suggestion of an expenditure tax by the Danish Commission on Tax Reform in 19585 and by the Swedish Government Commission on Taxation in 19726, by the British Meade Committee in (1978), the Blueprints of the U.S. Treasury (1977/1984), the Information Report of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (1974), and - let us not forget — the discussions within the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income, appointed in 19507, which provided much of the material leading to Kaldor’s well-known book published in 1955. None of these numerous attempts at establishing an expenditure tax was ever adopted, save for rather short interludes of expenditure tax enactment in India and Sri Lanka8.


Capital Gain Consumer Durable Expenditure Calculation Advisory Commission Period Expenditure 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1990

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  • Christian Seidl

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