Suppose you had to design a system of taxation for a republic of the former Soviet Union that was transforming its economy into a modern Western-style mixed economy. What criteria would you consider to minimize the excess burden of the system of taxation? Why would a uniform system of sales taxes likely have a higher excess burden than a system of excise taxes in which tax rates varied among taxed products? What would be the possible distortions resulting from a tax system that only taxed consumption of goods and services and did not tax leisure activities? Why would a very efficient tax system be unlikely to gain broad political support in the republic?
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