The only thing certain in this world is….
Taxes? Who wants to talk about taxes in September? I can tell you who is going to have to talk a lot about taxes in September - people elected to office in Washington D.C. After that, they will follow up with budget conversations. This is why we have decided to focus our next Cafe Collection on understanding taxes and funding.
The current tax reform appears to be focused on reform for corporations. But why should we care if the corporate tax rate is 35% vs 15%? Maybe we should just make the tax code as simple as possible.
How about no taxes? Well, that doesn’t work very well either as proven by Kansas. They recently ended their experiment with no taxes. It was not what some might call successful but it didn’t improve the state’s economy and led to budget shortfalls. Whereas D.C. took a more comprehensive approach and added taxation to some industries, cut the sales tax, and had economic growth.
The push for the current tax reform is to make sure the cuts don't add to the budget deficit. It is easy to flip that and say with these tax cuts, we also need to cut these programs to balance the budget. This could set off more gridlock in Washington, D.C.
Let us know in the comments if you have any recommendations for books that will help our patrons (and us) understand taxes. We need suggesting by EOD Friday 9/22.
Books to get you thinking:
The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity by Jared Bernstein
A Fine Mess by T.R. Reid
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer (Translator)
A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget by Mattea Kramer et al
Bucking the Deficit: Economic Policymaking In America by G Calvin Mackenzie, & Saranna Thornton
Taxing The Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe by Kenneth Scheve & David Stasavage
The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens by Gabriel Zucman, Teresa Lavender Fagan (translator)
Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget by David Wessel
Death and Taxes, by David Dodge (mystery novel and first in the Whit Whitney series, originally published 1941)
Death and Taxes: Hydriotaphia and Other Plays, by Tony Kushner (collection of plays about death, money, and taxation)