Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Cut Taxes

Legal and political historians talk a lot about the politics of resource allocation and public budgeting but all too little about taxation. For some of the historical context behind the Democrats' current move to cut payroll taxes as a boon to "working families" -- which seems in some ways madly counter-productive to their own agenda -- be on the lookout for the forthcoming (early 2012) University of Pennsylvania book by Molly Michelmore, Tax and Spend: Taxes and the Limits of American Liberalism. Michelmore is especially good on the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut of 1964 and on the tax cuts of the early Reagan administration.

I could not locate a press release about the book, but did find this interview in which Michelmore summarizes her arguments (from the website of Washington and Lee, in whose history department she teaches):

MichelmoreMolly Michelmore, assistant professor of history at Washington and Lee University, discussed her ongoing research into the politicization of federal tax and welfare policies beween 1935 and 1980 in an appearance on WMRA's program, Virginia Insight, on Monday, May 2, 2011