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War and Taxes

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Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Kirk J. Stark; Joseph J. Thorndike; Steven A. Bank

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Banking and finance (Taxation and tax policy)

Keywords: Tax Policy; Tax Distribution and Economic Trends; Fiscal future

Type: Book


The history of America?s tax system can be written largely as a history of America?s wars. During World War II, Americans were urged to ration food, raise money, and accept higher taxes. After September 11, we were given tax cuts and asked to shop. Has the United States broken a noble tradition of fiscal sacrifice with the current, unprecedented wartime tax cuts, or are they the mark of new economic, and social forces at work? War and Taxes weighs the question by considering six conflicts that span the American Revolution to the present war in Iraq.