David Johnston

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize–winning tax reporter for The New York Times and the author of Perfectly Legal, an exposé of our tax system honored as Book of the Year by Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Recent Articles

A Real Killing

Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight Over Taxing Inherited Wealth by Michael J. Graetz and Ian Shapiro ( Princeton University Press, 392 pages, $29.95 ) This book about the unlikely success of a small band of the anti-tax rich and their hired hands in attacking the estate tax, the most progressive element of the federal tax system, is public-policy reporting at its finest. But Death by a Thousand Cuts is much more. It is also an important manual on moral arguments in contemporary politics. And taxes are moral issues. The authors are Yale professors -- Michael Graetz an influential commentator on tax policy and Ian Shapiro a leading political theorist. They combine their specialties well to explain the rise of a movement dedicated to shifting the burden of taxes off of rich dead people and onto living wage earners. For now repeal will last just one year, in 2010, but the authors seem to think President Bush will win permanent repeal. “Looking back, the most remarkable...