In honor of Tax Day…

If you want to hear a thoughtful conversation between individuals on different ideological sides regarding the US tax system – a rare enough event in itself – today’s On Point podcast touched on a number of issues which are brought up in this course in the taxation portion.  Make no mistake, Douglas Holtz-Eakin is explicitly leading a foundation placing itself on the “center-right,” and David Cay Johnston is clearly coming from a left position – and I am endorsing neither!  However, you may find yourself surprised at how many fundamental points of agreement they have about our tax system, for example at the end when policies like the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credits are mentioned.  What I liked about their conversation on both sides is that they were reflective and brought up ideas such as the principles by which we evaluate tax policies (ability to pay and benefits principles); redistribution; and more.  You may yourself be on one side or the other in your daily life, but I encourage you to listen carefully to what thoughtful content you can find in the media on taxation (and budgeting for that matter) and look for application of the concepts you have learned in this course from an analytical rather than ideological perspective.  Interestingly both guests have a Syracuse connection; Johnston teaches there now and Holtz-Eakin, prior to serving as CBO director, was tenured in the Maxwell School at Syracuse which among other programs houses the MPA degree.

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