Like most books about reform Johnston's book starts out and spends 90 percent of its space on what is wrong with the system, citing example after example of shocking, scandalous and angering abuse. Mr. Johnston has what is better described as a liberal outlook rathher than a bias. More conservative Americans should go directly to the chapter entitled "The Stealth Tax" about the Alternative Minimum Tax, responsibility for which Johnston lays directly on thirty years of Democratic "tweaking". They may then be more willing to read about what he has to say in the other chapters of this book. "Perfectly Legal" is VERY readable, but there were still things which I had to go over two or three time before I began to believe I understood what was happening.
For me Mr. Johnston makes three very important points:
1. We get the America that we pay for.
2. We have to decide what we want that America to be. (Our tax system was designed for a national, wage earning tax base, not the global, investment income tax base, we now have.)
3. The tax system in NOT intuitive. (The results we hope for when we cut taxes is not necessarily the result we will get, almost CERTAINLY not in the long run.)
Everyone should read this book. Fiscal conservatives should be patient with Johnston's liberal outlook and read about Bob Goizueta and Jack Welch. Then if you still believe they were fair to the American tAxpayer, ask yourself if they were fair to the shareholders of Coca-Cola and GE.