IRS Tax Form being filled out.  Photo credit: Ken Teegarden | CC2.0, Flickr



These resources explore moral and ethical problems in economics, held up against God’s creation order and God’s vision for relationships between human beings, and also between human beings and the created world.

Books and Articles on Taxes

Wikipedia, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction (Wikipedia article); see also

Seth Hanlon, The Mortgage Interest Deduction (Center for American Progress, Jan 26, 2011); see also Derek Thompson, The Shame of the Mortgage-Interest Deduction (The Atlantic, May 14, 2017) subtitled, "It’s not just a failure of housing policy. It's a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the American tax code."

Wikipedia, Hidden Welfare State (Wikipedia article) 

Tax Justice Network (website)

Think By Numbers, Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs

Lawrence Lessig, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop it

Rachel Maddow, How Reaganomics Destroyed the Middle Class...And Maybe America (MSNBC, Dec 4, 2010)

Jonathan Chait, How Conservatives Tax the Poor (New Republic, Apr 1, 2011)

Henry Blodgett, The Truth About Taxes: Here's How High Today's Tax Rates Really Are (Business Insider, Jul 12, 2011)

John Horgan, Dear Occupy Wall Street: Read Jeffrey Sachs! (Scientific American, Oct 11, 2011) "According to Sachs, Google funnels billions in profits into off-shore subsidiaries, which pay lower tax rates than the U.S. corporation does. Sachs points out that Sergey Brin's "ingenious work in creating Google's search engine" was supported by the National Science Foundation, which means that our tax dollars helped Brin get his start."

John Horgan, Education Isn't Helping Americans Overcome Deepening Inequality (Scientific American, Feb 13, 2012) comments on taxes and structural, institutional factors

Heather Stewart, Wealth Doesn't Trickle Down - It Just Floods Offshore, Study Reveals (The Guardian, Jul 21, 2012)

Shamus Khan, The Rich Haven't Always Hated Taxes (Time, Sep 18, 2012)

Zachary Mider, Accidental Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion (Bloomberg, Dec 17, 2013)

Jillian Berman, Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof) (Huffington Post, Dec 20, 2013)

Zachary Mider, Moguls Rent South Dakota Addresses to Dodge Taxes Forever (Bloomberg, Dec 27, 2013)

Jena McGregor, Beware, Study Says, Money is Addictive (Washington Post, Jan 20, 2014)

Margaret Newkirk, Baton Rouge's Rich Want New Town to Keep Poor Pupils Out: Taxes (Bloomberg, Feb 6, 2014)

C. Robert Gibson, This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage — Now, His State’s Economy Is One of the Best in the Country (Huffington Post, Feb 24, 2015) although Louis Jacobson, Meme Touts Mark Dayton's Economic Successes as Governor of Minnesota; Is It Accurate? (Politifact, Apr 1, 2015)

Kathleen Miles, This Map Shows Why the Plan to Split Up California Would Be a Dystopian Nightmare (Huffington Post, Mar 7, 2014)

Nicholas Kristof, A Nation of Takers? (NY Times, Mar 26, 2014)

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century (book, Mar 2014) and reviews by Paul Krugman, America's Taxation Tradition (NY Times, Mar 27, 2014) and John Cassidy, Piketty's Inequality Story in 6 Charts (New Yorker, Mar 26, 2014) and Andrew Hussey, Occupy Was Right: Capitalism Has Failed the World (The Guardian, Apr 12, 2014)

Robert Shiller, Better Insurance Against Inequality (NY Times, Apr 12, 2014)

Bernie DeGroat, What Do Tax Policy Experts Think About U.S. Tax Policy? (Univ. of Michigan News website)

Jonathan Chait, Why Republicans Love Taxing the Poor (New York Magazine, May 22, 2014)

Peter R. Orszag, To Fight Inequality, Tax Land (Bloomberg View, Mar 3, 2015)

Eric Levitz, The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana (New York Magazine, Mar 18, 2016)

Brooke Harrington, Inside the Secretive World of Tax-Avoidance Experts (The Atlantic, Oct 26, 2015)

Thom Hartmann, How Reaganomics Killed America's Middle Class (The Big Picture RT, Nov 11, 2015)

Jeff Guo, Why a German Billionaire Says That Pledges Like Mark Zuckerberg's Are Really Bad (Washington Post, Dec 2, 2015)

Jared Wolczak, Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid? (Tax Foundation, Jan 6, 2016)

Kevin D. Williamson, Slouching Towards Tax Reform (National Review, Jan 19, 2016) about corporate taxes, although I'm not for a flat tax

Alec MacGillis, The Billionaire's Loophole (The New Yorker, Mar 14, 2016) about charitable giving being tax-deductible:  is it fair?

Eric Levitz, The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana (New York Magazine, Mar 18, 2016)

Anu Partanen, I Moved to the US 7 Years Ago from Finland — Here's What Americans Don't Understand About Nordic Countries (Business Insider, Mar 19, 2016)

Drew Schwartz, Here's Why You Should Give a Shit About the Panama Papers (Vice, Apr 4, 2016)

Colin Holtz, The Panama Papers Prove It: America Can Afford a Universal Basic Income (Guardian, Apr 8, 2016)

Uri Friedman, The Geography of Financial Secrecy (The Atlantic, Apr 9, 2016) on tax havens; includes per country lost tax revenue

Dylan Matthews, The Greatest Trick the Rich Ever Pulled Was Making Us Believe They Pay All the Taxes (Vox, Apr 15, 2016)

Robert Reich, What is the Racial Wealth Gap? (Inequality Media, Apr 27, 2016) examines taxes and raising welfare limits to allow for more wealth accumulation

Charles Derber and Yale Magrass, How Unchecked Capitalism and Massive Inequality Made America the Bully Nation: A Guide to the Systemic Origins of America's Bully Culture (Alternet, May 26, 2016)

Narayana Kocherlakota, The Rich Are Different, and It Matters (Bloomberg Jun 3, 2016)

Jim Tankersley and Max Ehrenfreund, The Interesting Thing That Happened When Kansas Cut Taxes and California Hiked Them (Washington Post, Jun 17, 2016)

Christopher Helman, What America's 25 Most Profitable Companies Pay in Taxes (Forbes, Jul 4, 2016)

Seth Meyers, Kansas Tax Cuts: A Closer Look (Late Night, Mar 21, 2016) a comedic report

Hunter Blair, Trump's Tax Plan Blatantly Contradicts His Populist Rhetoric (Economic Policy Institute, May 13, 2016)

Robert Reich, A Little Goes a Long Way: Why a Small Tax on Wall Street Trades Is a Good Idea (Salon, Aug 11, 2016)

Valerio Pellegrini, How Apple - and the Rest of Silicon Valley - Avoids the Tax Man (Wired, Aug 30, 2016)

Andrew Ross Sorkin, When It Comes to Tax Avoidance, Donald Trump’s Just a Small Fry (NY Times, Oct 4, 2016) Fortune 500 companies shelter trillions offshore, referring to this report: Citizens for Tax Justice, Offshore Shell Games 2016

NY Times Editorial Board, Affordable Child Care: The Secret to a Better Economy (NY Times, Aug 19, 2016)

Hunter Blair, $916 Million Losses Aside, There Are Many Ways Trump Could Avoid Paying Taxes (Economic Policy Institute, Oct 3, 2016) a good explanation of real estate tax loopholes

Robertson Williams, Donald Trump's Tax Plan Would Hit Single Parents Hard (Forbes, Nov 4, 2016)

Howard Gleckman, Trump's Campaign Rhetoric May Have Been Populist But His Tax Plan Isn't (Forbes, Nov 10, 2016)

Rupert Neate, Trump's Tax Plan: Massive Cuts for the 1% Will Usher 'Era of Dynastic Wealth' (Guardian, Nov 23, 2016)

Steven Johnson, Why Blue States Are the Real 'Tea Party' (NY Times, Dec 3, 2016)

Kathleen Pender, Who Really Wins or Loses from Proposition 13? (San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 6, 2016)

Jim Tankersley, Republicans Have a Double Standard When It Comes to Trump's Threats of 'Retribution' (Washington Post, Dec 6, 2016)

Robert Reich, Tax Experiment (Inequality Media, Dec 9, 2016) about Kansas and Texas vs. California

Josh Bivens, It's Time for Corporations to Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes (Economic Policy Institute, May 18, 2017) compares the effective vs. statutory corporate tax rates

Dean Baker, A Tax on Wall Street Trading is the Best Solution to Income Inequality (CounterPunch, May 29, 2017)

Rutger Bregman, No, Wealth Isn't Created at the Top. It is Merely Devoured There (The Guardian, May 30, 2017) "Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook ... a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry"; from the historian who told the billionaires at Davos that they were guilty of tax evasion.  See Laura Paddison, Historian Lays Into Billionaires At Davos For Dodging The 1 Thing To Solve Inequality (Huffington Post, Jan 30, 2019)

A.Q. Smith, It's Basically Just Immoral to be Rich (Current Affairs, Jun 14, 2017) argues that the right to retain is different from the right to acquire

Matt Bruenig, Massive Rise Of Top Incomes Is Mostly Driven By Capital (People's Policy Project, Aug 9, 2017) great charts comparing income from capital vs. from wages

Hunter Blair, Corporations Pay Between 13 and 19 Percent in Federal Taxes — Far Less Tthan the 35 Percent Statutory Tax Rate (Economic Policy Institute, Aug 10, 2017)

Michael Hiltzik, Did Steve Mnuchin and Louise Linton Really "Give More to the Economy" Than They Took? They Record Says No (Los Angeles Times, Aug 23, 2017) a good examination of tax policy

Noah Smith, How the Top 1% Keeps Getting Richer (Bloomberg, Aug 28, 2017) less in land and more in stocks

Tim McDonnell, Forget the Paris Agreement. The Real Solution to Climate Change is in the U.S. Tax Code (Washington Post, Oct 2, 2017)

Noah Smith, Faster Growth Begins with a Land Tax in U.S. Cities (Bloomberg, Oct 24, 2017)

Amy Goodman, Yanis Varoufakis on Global Capitalism & How Trump’s Tax Plan is Class War Against the Poor (NPR, Nov 3, 2017)

Paradise Papers Reporting Team, Tax Haven Secrets of the Ultra-Rich Exposed (BBC, Nov 4, 2017)

German Lopez, The Senate's Tax Plan Would Cut Alcohol Taxes. That Would Be a Public Health Disaster (Vox, Nov 15, 2017)

Cristobal Young, If You Tax the Rich, They Won't Leave: US Data Contradicts Millionaires' Threats (The Guardian, Nov 20, 2017)

Eric Levitz, Republicans Want You to Know They're for Corporations, Not the Middle Class (NY Magazine, Nov 24, 2017)

Hunter Blair, CEOs Agree: Corporate Tax Cuts Won't Trickle Down (The Hill, Dec 3, 2017) "There is no evidence in recent American economic history, no evidence from international comparisons and no evidence from individual U.S. states that corporate tax cuts will boost the wages of American workers. This is a case we’ve been making for a while." See links.

Derek Thompson, This Is the Long Game of Republican Economics (The Atlantic, Dec 7, 2017)

Justin Fox, Must-Reads of 2017: Getting Serious About Land (Bloomberg, Dec 27, 2017)

Noah Smith, Land is Underrated as a Source of Wealth (Bloomberg, Jan 2, 2018)

Julia Belluz, The Case for a Junk Food Tax (Vox, Jan 17, 2018)

Thom Hartmann, How the GOP Used a Two Santa Clauses Tactic to Con America for Nearly 40 Years (Alternet, Feb 11, 2018)

BBC News, Trump Tax Reform Gives Buffet $29bn Boost (BBC, Feb 24, 2018)

Derek Thompson, Busting the Myth of 'Welfare Makes People Lazy' (The Atlantic, Mar 8, 2018)

John Oliver, Corporate Taxes (Last Week Tonight, Apr 15, 2018)

Aaron Tolbert, The Trump Administration Is Waging War On The Poor (Huffington Post, Apr 18, 2018)

Chris Pope, Degenerate Federalism (National Review, May 10, 2018) takes the question of Amazon's second headquarters back into taxation in law and practice

Mary Papenfuss, U.S. Companies Shelter 40 Percent Of Foreign Profits, Study Finds (Huffington Post, Jun 11, 2018) Republican corporate tax cut won’t likely encourage the return of sheltered money to America 

PayScale, National U.S. Pay Trends (PayScale, Jul 10, 2018) wage growth is -0.9% for Q2, 2018; accounting for inflation, wages have dropped 1.4% in the past year; since 2009, wages down 9.3% 

Annie Lowrey, Fixing America's Forgotten Places (The Atlantic, Jul 24, 2018) re: Trump's tax code incentives private capital investment into blighted urban areas like Fresno, California; an example of how conservative policies can preserve the illusion of "meritocracy"

David Doel, Ocasio-Cortez Makes Cuomo Look Dumb For 'How Do You Pay' Question (The Rational National, Aug 10, 2018)

The Young Turks, Betsy DeVos Caught Not Paying Taxes (The Young Turks, Aug 11, 2018) re: DeVos' yacht, untied from an Ohio dock, was flying a flag from the Cayman Islands because DeVos skirted $11 million in taxes, not to mention wage regulation of workers on the yacht, by using the loophole created by and for the super-rich

Doug Bandow, Corporate Welfare Lives On and On (The American Conservative, Aug 29, 2018)

Owen Jones, We Don’t Want Billionaires’ Charity. We Want Them to Pay Their Taxes (The Guardian, Oct 26, 2018)

Matt O'Brien, The Trump Tax Cuts Were Supposed to Set Off an Investment Boom. They Haven't So Far (Washington Post, Oct 27, 2018).  See also Jim Tankersley and Matt Phillips, Trump’s Tax Cut Was Supposed to Change Corporate Behavior. Here’s What Happened (NY Times, Nov 12, 2018). See also Jim Tankersley and Matt Phillips, Trump’s Tax Cut Was Supposed to Change Corporate Behavior. Here’s What Happened (NY Times, Nov 12, 2018). See also Matt Egan, Corporate America Gives Out a Record $1 Trillion in Stock Buybacks (CNN, Dec 17, 2018).  The December 2018 jobs report suggests some upside, see Glenn Kessler, Trump's Claim that Job Growth Is Due to Companies 'Moving Back' (Washington Post, Jan 10, 2019)   

Veronique De Rugy, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Right About Amazon’s Corporate Welfare (National Review, Nov 13, 2018) and Lee Moran, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Stuns Himself By Agreeing With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Huffington Post, Nov 14, 2018)

Jim Tankersley, Amazon’s New York Home Qualifies as ‘Distressed’ Under Federal Tax Law (NY Times, Nov 14, 2018)

Kari Paul, Climate Change Has Cost the Government $350 Billion — Here’s What It Will Cost You (MarketWatch, Nov 24, 2018) estimates $35 billion per year.  See also Rex Nutting, Calamitous Weather Destroyed $175 Billion of Wealth (MarketWatch, Nov 13, 2018)

The Young Turks, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Owns Biased '60 Minutes' Interview (The Young Turks, Jan 7, 2019) on the proposal of the marginal tax rate being 70%, with good economic history of the pre-Reagan era, why the U.S. had the biggest economic expansion of any country ever, why a low tax rate encourages wealth extraction in the form of high executive pay as opposed to reinvestment in companies' infrastructure and wages.  See also Brian Tyler Cohen, Hannity Tries to Embarrass Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, She Responds Brilliantly (Brian Tyler Cohen, Jan 24, 2019) on his exaggerated lies about AOC's proposal for a 70% marginal tax rate

Paul Krugman, How Much Does Heterodoxy Help Progressives? (Wonkish) (The New York Times, Feb 12, 2019) "Their agenda still needs to be tax-and-spend, not just spend"

Barbara Boland, Ignoring America’s Abyss of Debt (The American Conservative, Feb 15, 2019) mostly public and federal debt

John Horgan, House Revolt Against the Rich (Scientific American, Feb 18, 2019) "Nobel laureates, a new congresswoman and others urge raising taxes on the ultrawealthy to counter surging inequality"

Catherine Rampell, The Biggest Lesson from Michael Cohen’s Explosive Testimony (Washington Post, Feb 28, 2019) give more funding to the IRS so it is more effective

Alvin Chang, A Better Way to Tax the Rich (Vox, Mar 5, 2019) re: Elizabeth Warren’s idea of taxing wealth

Jane G. Gravelle and Donald J. Marples, The Economic Effects of the 2017 Tax Revision: Preliminary Observations (Every CRS Report, May 22, 2019)

Robert Reich, Where Your Tax Dollars Really Go (Robert Reich and Move On, Jul 30, 2019) illustrates how the military is over 50% of federal discretionary spending; see also Robert Reich, The Military-Industrial Drain (Robert Reich and Move On, Jun 14, 2018)

William D. Cohan, Only the Fed Can Save Us (NY Times, Aug 31, 2019) “In large part, the explosion of debt issuance has been driven by central-bank policies that have kept interest rates at historically low levels, in effect rewarding entities for issuing more and more debt. Interest payments on corporate debt are tax deductible, in most jurisdictions. We live in a world awash in debt. But that’s the risk we can see. There is plenty of additional risk hiding in the undisclosed obligations of private companies and in the “shadow banking system,” nonbank financial institutions that have sprung up in the past decade to hold the risk that the Federal Reserve insisted, after the 2008 financial crisis, that Wall Street avoid. So what would happen if interest rates did increase slightly, or if the economy dipped into a recession, and some of those overleveraged companies could no longer meet their interest payments? It wouldn’t be pretty.”

The Young Turks, Trump’s Newest Scam to Steal from the Poor and Give to the Rich (The Young Turks, Sep 4, 2019) capital gains tax exemptions (claimed by only 7% of the US population) for reinvestment in “opportunity zones” that have no relation to poverty, but target high-income areas, often resulting in inflated high-end housing which sit vacant and reap a tax writeoff windfall. See Jesse Drucker and Eric Lipton, How a Trump Tax Break to Help Poor Communities Became a Windfall for the Rich (NY Times, Aug 31, 2019) and Paul Krugman, The Great Tax Break Heist (NY Times, Sep 2, 2019)

The Young Turks, Trump’s Next Giveaway to the Rich (The Young Turks, Oct 9, 2019) more corporate tax loopholes to off-shore locations, even though Trump’s last tax law brought only 3% of corporate money to U.S. shores to be taxed

Christian restorative justice, business, and economics: Topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: domestic policy topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: philosophical influences