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taxes


  • Let’s Tax the Rich

    by Lawrence Wittner

    The public thinks they’re taxed too little and history shows the economy benefits when taxes are higher.



  • How Tax Policy Created the 1%

    by Julia Ott

    The Revenue Act of 1921 introduced a preferential or reduced tax rate on income from capital gains into the U.S. tax code, in a reversal of how policymakers had thought about different forms of income for several decades.



  • When Congress Made Taxes Fairer

    by Bill Bradley

    With President Trump now talking about overhauling the tax code, it’s worth reflecting on the last time Congress revamped the system: the Tax Reform Act of 1986.



  • All the Presidents' Taxes

    by Kevin M. Kruse

    As you file your taxes this week—and as the president talks up tax reform—get riled up all over again about his refusal to release his returns with a brief history of this now-discarded presidential tradition.



  • German tax inspectors oblivious to Holocaust

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Many low-level tax inspectors in Germany's Nazi-era finance ministry were oblivious to the Holocaust and dutifully tried to contact murdered Jews whose wealth was being plundered by the ministry's top officials, according to a new book.Germans have publicly atoned for Nazi crimes in a myriad of ways over six decades, providing scores of billions of dollars in reparations to Holocaust victims, their descendants and the state of Israel. But only recently have leading government ministries come clean on their own particular Nazi past....The finance ministry's role in assisting the Nazis was long assumed as a fact but never examined in real detail until Berlin historian Christine Kuller's book "Bureaucracy and Crime", which it commissioned....



  • Julian Zelizer: Fix Our Tax Headaches

    Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "Governing America."(CNN) -- Something good can come of the bad news about taxes. Last week there were more revelations about who knew what, and what actually occurred, when the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative organizations that were seeking tax-exempt status. Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told Congress he was "dismayed" about what had happened.Taxes were front and center once again when Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to respond to a congressional report that the company had avoided paying billions of dollars in taxes.The controversies generated a big stir in Washington and the news media, though it is unclear that the general public is quite as interested as the politicians and the reporters. Nonetheless, at least for now, both stories have produced intense congressional investigations to find out who was responsible for any wrongdoing.



  • Robert E. Wright: How Nonprofits Became Tax-Exempt

    Robert E. Wright is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College in South Dakota and the author of “Corporation Nation,” which will be published in December by the University of Pennsylvania Press.The uproar over allegations of politically motivated investigations by the Internal Revenue Service shouldn’t be surprising given Americans’ long love affair with nonprofits and their strong disdain of partisanship, especially within bureaucracies.After independence, and especially after ratification of the Constitution, Americans began forming businesses, charities and other associations at unprecedented rates. Unshackled from British law and the threat of monarchical tyranny, they sought to invest in long-term stability, and in each other, in ways that required the establishment of large and lasting organizations.To create these institutions, early Americans adapted corporate laws from Britain. At first, incorporation required both for-profit and nonprofit organizations to obtain a charter from state governments. Charters were special laws passed by state legislatures and signed by governors under the rules of state constitutions.

  • Time Again for Repayable Taxes?

    by Robert E. Wright

    Denarius of Sabina Augusta, Roman Republic era. Credit: Dartmouth College.Today, legislators facing budget deficits must decide the degree to which to cut spending, increase taxes, or borrow. All three can have negative effects on the economy and legislators’ individual prospects for re-election. Gridlock has resulted on more than one occasion.Until a few centuries ago, governments regularly resorted to additional fiscal techniques. One was to pillage other countries. That does not work well anymore because most wealth today takes the form of flighty human capital, not easily appropriated physical stuff. Moreover, wars have grown too expensive and too destructive to make them paying propositions.

  • Taxes

    by David Austin Walsh

    Download this backgrounder as a Word documentWorth ReadingRay Raphael: The Income Tax Amendment Turns One Hundred and It’s Worth CelebratingIs the Income Tax Illegal?Michael Lind: What If All Sides are Wrong about Taxes?Q&A: How FDR Built Today’s Tax SystemBackgroundHow does the federal income tax – due on April 15 each year – work in the United States?It’s complicated.