While some prepare to file their taxes on or before April 18, others prepare to protest during Tax Day Marches, calling upon President Donald Trump to release his tax returns and commit to a fair tax system for all Americans.
Some see this day as an opportunity to take back the discussion on tax reform and the middle class. And others note that any recent tax reform discussions will still benefit the richest 1% more than the poor and middle class.
As discussions continue on how tax reform affects all Americans, below is a list of suggested readings.
Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State by Sandy Brian Hager
“[W]ho actually owns the debt inside America? Hager has done some fascinating and path-breaking research to answer that question, and concluded that the ownership pattern is surprisingly concentrated—and unequal—and this may have implications for how the entire debt debate develops in the coming years. This is an illuminating work that deserves wide attention.”—Gillian Tett, Financial Times
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s open access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.
How Big Should Our Government Be? by Jon Bakija, Lane Kenworthy, Peter Lindert, Jeff Madrick
“If you would like a low-key, reasonably argued, nonideological discussion of the economic role of the government in the United States, one based on facts and on research using the facts, this is just the book for you.”—Robert Solow, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“[I]t is time to mount a political challenge to the economic theories—namely, supply-side, or trickle-down economics—that have provided cover for the unparalleled growth in inequality over the past three decades. . . . A dramatic and clearly delineated outline of ‘how the stage has been set for transformative political conflict.'”—Kirkus
“When will we learn that an economy that works just for the wealthy just doesn’t work? David Madland explains with clarity and eloquence why trickle-down economics can’t keep its promise of rapid growth—and why a more just economy will provide better results for everyone.”—E. J. Dionne Jr., Brookings Institution, Georgetown University, and author of Our Divided Political Heart
“The arguments here are powerful and multidisciplinary. The crux is explaining how rising economic inequality causes harm to the middle class. It also offers a policy reform—a progressive consumption tax—that serves to mitigate this harm. This is a gem of a book.”—Lee S. Friedman, University of California at Berkeley
“Robert Frank explains exactly how and why an unequal society leaves almost all its members worse-off, including most of those who objectively are doing ‘better.’ This is a very important application of economic logic to modern America’s main domestic problem.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly
It’s Not Like I’m Poor: How Working Families Make Ends Meet in a Post-Welfare World by Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Kathryn Edin, Laura Tach, Jennifer Sykes
“An important contribution to poverty policy scholarship.”—Vanessa D. Wells Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
“It’s Not Like I’m Poor inspires one to wonder whether there are existing educational interventions that, with changes to their delivery method, might lead to better experiences and outcomes for children and families… Not only did their work dispel many of the negative stereotypes of welfare -reliant mothers and present an honest picture of the financial realities these families faced, it also helped forecast the relative hardships families would face when the effects of welfare reform took shape.”—Celia J. Gomez Harvard Educational Review
Taxing the Poor: Doing Damage to the Truly Disadvantaged by Katherine S. Newman and Rourke O’Brien
“Taxing the Poor makes extremely important points that are not now—but must be—part of the American discussion of poverty and social policy. The authors make these points with fascinating details on the history of how we got to this place. Bravo to Newman and O’Brien for thoroughly laying out a politcal economy of taxation.”—Robin Einhorn, author of American Taxation, American Slavery
The Student Loan Mess: How Good Intentions Created a Trillion-Dollar Problem by Joel Best and Eric Best
“In this fully documented—but highly readable—study, Joel and Eric Best parcel out the blame among politicians, educational institutions, and the students themselves. Importantly, they propose timely actions to take ‘before this latest financial bubble bursts.'”—Richard J. Mahoney, Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy, Washington University, St. Louis
“Edgy and astute. . . . This engaging book will appeal to a broad audience of interested general readers.”—John Iceland, Penn State University