How do governments justify their choice of tax policy? What are the arguments for and against the choices they make? Are there common trends in the tax policy choices of OECD countries? This book provides a unique guide to tax policies pursued by the governments of OECD countries by assessing recent policies, offering a thorough critique of their justification and looking at actual examples of policy choice. The authors give an overview of post-war tax developments, addressing in detail topics such as the dynamics of tax revenues and public sector developments. They go on to examine the arguments for and against governments' main tax policy choices, looking at personal income tax, social security contributions, business taxes, consumption taxation and taxes on wealth, capital gains, and property. They rigorously examine arguments used by governments to justify certain policy choices, providing an objective evaluation of both the valid and invalid arguments for the choices made with regard to domestic taxation. In addition to a thorough critique of recent tax policies, the book looks at the actual tax choices of 25 of the thirty OECD countries and aims to identify the similarities and the differences between them. The authors draw on these real examples and on their considerable experience in assessing possibilities for future tax systems. The book will be of special interest to academics and students in the field of public finance, national and international tax policymakers, politicians, and journalists.