A modern tax system for an advanced industrial nation has a heavy load to carry. It first must raise the right amount of revenue, which depends not only on the size of the budget, but also on the state of the economy. In addition, the modern tax system should distribute the required revenues fairly among the citizens, promote economic growth and stability, and be as simple as possible to understand and to comply with. Frequently, some of these objectives conflict, and one must be sacrificed for another to be realised. Current disagreements over tax policy reflect differences of opinion regarding the impact of taxes and relative weight attached to the various objectives.