Date of Award
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Rachel Epstein, Ph.D.
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.
Bakhtiari, Sarah Nelson, "War Tax Free: Institutional Resiliency for War in the United States" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1214.
Received from ProQuest
Sarah Nelson Bakhtiari
Political Science, International Relations, Economic History