Taxes Have Consequences: An Income Tax History of the United States

  • 14h 5m 28s
  • Arthur B. Laffer Ph.D., Brian Domitrovic Ph.D., Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield Ph.D.
  • Recorded Books, Inc.
  • 2022

The definitive history of the effect of the income tax on the economy.

Ever since 1913, when the United States first imposed the income tax via constitutional amendment, the top rate of that tax has determined the fate of the American economy. When the top rate has been high, as in the late 1910s, the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1970s, the response of those with money and capital has been to curtail real economic activity in favor of protecting assets and income streams. Huge declines have come to the economy in these circumstances. The most brutal example was the Great Depression itself. When the top tax rate has been cut and held at reduced levels—as in the 1920s, the 1960s, in the long boom of the 1980s and 1990s, and briefly in the late 2010s—astonishing reversals have occurred. The rich have brought their money out of hiding and put it to work in the economy. The huge swings in the American economy since 1913 have had an inverse relationship to income tax rates.

About the Author

Arthur B. Laffer is the legendary founder of supply-side economics and economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in 2019.

Brian Domitrovic is the author of five books, including the landmark history of supply-side economics Econoclasts.

Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield helped pioneer index-fund investing as executive vice president and head of trading at Dimensional Fund Advisors.

In this Audiobook

  • Chapter 1 - Whatever
  • Chapter 2 - Income Tax Avoidance: The Income of the Rich Is Not What It Seems
  • Chapter 3 - Beyond Piketty: The Laffer Curve Is Alive and Well
  • Chapter 4 - Tax Cuts of the Roaring 1920s
  • Chapter 5 - The Smoot-Hawley Tariff, the Revenue Act of 1932, and Crush of the Great Depression
  • Chapter 6 - Tax Rates and the Persistence of the Great Depression
  • Chapter 7 - Unindicted Coconspirators: States and Localities during the Great Depression
  • Chapter 8 - World War II and the Economy
  • Chapter 9 - Government Retreat and the Emergence of Post-World War II Prosperity
  • Chapter 10 - High Tax Rates and the Sluggish 1950s
  • Chapter 11 - The Growth Takeoff of the 1960s
  • Chapter 12 - The States after World War II
  • Chapter 13 - Taxes and Stagflation
  • Chapter 14 - The Great Boom, 1982-2000
  • Chapter 15 - Sluggishness in the 2000s
  • Chapter 16 - The Trump Tax Cut and Economic Resurgence into 2020
  • Conclusion