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Deficits,debts,and the new politics of tax policy Dennis S. Ippolito [Management books]

By: Ippolito, Dennis S.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York Cambridge University Press 2012ISBN: 9781107641402.Subject(s): Finance | Fiscal policy | TaxationDDC classification: 336.73
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode
Management BZ 336.73 IPP (Browse shelf) 1 Available R19174J1713

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The Constitution grants Congress the power 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises'. From the First Congress until today, conflicts over the size, role and taxing power of government have been at the heart of national politics. This book provides a comprehensive historical account of US tax policy that emphasizes the relationship between taxes and other budget components. It explains how wars, changing conceptions of the domestic role of government, and beliefs about deficits and debt have shaped the modern tax system. The contemporary focus of this book is the partisan battle over budget policy that began in the 1960s and triggered the disconnect between taxes and spending that has plagued the budget ever since. With the US government now facing its most serious deficit and debt challenge in the modern era, partisan debate over taxation is almost completely divorced from fiscal realities.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 A brief history of federal taxation
  • 2 The stable era
  • World War II to the 1960s
  • 3 Destabilizing tax policy
  • Vietnam and the 1970s
  • 4 The Reagan strategy - balancing low
  • 5 The Clinton strategy - balancing high
  • 6 Bush, Obama, and fiscal deadlock
  • 7 Reconnecting taxes and budgets

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Ippolito (political science, Southern Methodist Univ.) traces how wars, ideas about government size, and attitudes toward deficit finance shaped the US federal tax system. His impressive historic tableau, more descriptive than analytical, covers the Continental Congress (which had no taxing power) to the 2012 elections (when lawmakers lacked the courage to tax). His primary focus, however, is on the 1960s onward, and he devotes particular attention to the emerging disconnection between spending and revenue. The fiscal results of recent years were brought on by partisan politics marked with disinterest in connecting spending with revenue raising. Tax policy standards take a back seat in Ippolito's analysis of deficits and spending programs--just as it has for political participants--although he does provide brief summaries of major revenue acts and the political manipulations behind them. The modern partisan divide on budget policy and deficits has stretched the disconnect between budgets and taxes further. The revenue-raising objective of taxation is lost amid other policy considerations. Ippolito clearly outlines the choices available now, but it is unclear whether or not he believes that policy makers will move beyond political pandering to actually deal with the disconnect. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and faculty. J. L. Mikesell Indiana University--Bloomington

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