Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Jody Jones

Secondary Advisor

Sheila Ritchie

Committee Reader

David Dillman


This paper is an attempt to look at the American tax code in a different way. Rather than analyzing the tax on economic impacts, or how it effects the rich or poor, it sets a definition of “good tax” and constantly puts the American tax code under the microscope to determine if it is a good tax or not. For simplicity the paper only looks at personal taxes on the federal level which includes: estate, excise, gift, income, and payroll tax. After a summery and analysis of each tax is completed on an individual level, this paper looks at the entirety of the US tax code, again only the personal federal level, and compares the overall tax code to the definition of a good tax. Because the US tax code fails to meet the burden of a good tax, several third-party solutions are brought forth, and those are also put under the definition of a good tax. While no tax system or proposal fit the definition of a good tax, the point of this paper is to educate readers on the tax system that affects them as well as begins the thinking process in readers on how to change the system in order to achieve a better tax for all Americans.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.