Professor Boris I. Bittker’s long discourse on the concept of ‘comprehensive income tax’ 1 is a sharp attack on the large and still growing literature on broadening of the income tax base. He concludes 2 that the concept of the comprehensive income tax is vague, that its most enthusiastic supporters ‘have drawn back from its implication’, that ‘it can make no contribution to the elimination of ‘preferences’ [in taxation]’, and that a truly comprehensive income tax base would be a ‘disaster’. He sees no easy answer to tax reform: each proposal must be considered on its merits ‘in a discouragingly inconclusive process’ that gives weight to economic, legal, administrative, political and other pragmatic considerations. Above all, he objects to the ‘rhetoric’ of the comprehensive income taxation school which has spawned such terms as ‘exceptions’, ‘special provisions’, ‘preferences’, ‘loopholes’, and ‘leakages’. Professor Bittker’s admonitions about terminology are useful reminders, but in the rest of his criticisms he is guilty either of setting up strawmen or of misinterpreting the state of affairs.