During World War I, the United States Chamber of Commerce announced being “undismayed at the prospect of great taxes” to support the war, but still argued for heavy taxes on only the most profitable businesses. Several decades later, Congress and President Franklin Roosevelt often clashed over the type and amount of tax revenue essential for fighting World War II, usually thought of as the war most energetically supported with home-front sacrifice. Our own time has witnessed the unprecedented combination of tax reductions at home and war abroad.
War and Taxes, to be released May 6 by the Urban Institute Press, chronicles the political arguments, economic conditions, and public opinions that made it possible for previous presidents and Congresses to raise taxes, sell bonds, and cut domestic spending to pay for wars. The book, coauthored by historian Joseph Thorndike, contrasts the tax hikes enacted to support previous military operations with the extraordinary tax cuts Americans have received during the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Alan Gropman, Distinguished Professor of National Security Policy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces
Lawrence Korb, senior fellow, Center for American Progress; former assistant secretary of defense
Lori Montgomery, staff writer, economic policy, Washington Post (moderator)
Allen Schick, professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Joseph Thorndike, director, Tax History Project, Tax Analysts; scholar in residence, University of Virginia; coauthor, War and Taxes
At the Urban Institute
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