Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Epstein, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deborah Avant

Third Advisor

Cullen Hendrix


Institutions, Tax, Taxation, United States, War, War tax


The obsolescence of war taxes in the United States after 1968 is a product of the state's increased institutional resiliency for war. Historically, war taxes were raised for purposes of revenue generation for contemporaneous war spending or wartime inflation control. The state's development of a robust tax system that provides high and automatically increasing revenues over time, along with monetary mechanisms for price stability, obviate the need for war taxes. In particular, the development of the income tax system and the use of inflation-targeting monetary policy expanded the state's warfighting capacity without reliance on war taxes. These developments suggest a change in the relative capacity of the state and the executive vis-à-vis the public. The executive can leverage the state's significant institutional capacities for war with a much-reduced requirement for additional political action or public mobilization, minimizing the potential for increased public scrutiny that such efforts invite. Consequently, war taxes have obsolesced, and aren't expected to return.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Sarah Nelson Bakhtiari


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

206 p.


Political Science, International Relations, Economic History