TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hamill on Bush Tax Policies Violate Judeo-Christian Ethics

Hamill_5Susan Pace Hamill (Alabama) has published An Evaluation of Federal Tax Policy Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics, 25 Va. Tax Rev. 671 (2006).  Here is the abstract:

This article severely criticizes the Bush Administration's tax policies under the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics. I first document that Judeo-Christian ethics is the most relevant moral analysis for tax policy because almost 80% of Americans and well over 90% of the Congress, including President Bush, claim to adhere to the Christian or Jewish faiths. I also show that evaluating federal tax policy under Judeo-Christian principles not only passes constitutional muster but is also appropriate under the norms of a democracy. I then provide a complete theological framework that can be applied to any tax policy structure. Using sources that include leading Evangelical and other Protestant scholars, Papal Encyclicals and Jewish scholars, I prove that tax policy structures meeting the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics must raise adequate revenues that not only cover the needs of the minimum state but also ensure that all citizens have a reasonable opportunity to reach their potential. Among other things, reasonable opportunity requires adequate education, healthcare, job training and housing. Using these theological sources, I also establish that flat and consumption tax regimes which shift a large part of the burden to the middle classes are immoral. Consequently, Judeo-Christian based tax policy requires the tax burden to be allocated under a moderately progressive regime. I discuss the difficulties of defining that precisely and also conclude that confiscatory tax policy approaching a socialistic framework are also immoral. I then apply this Judeo-Christian ethical analysis to the first term Bush Administration's tax cuts and find those policies to be morally problematic. Using a wealth of sources, I then establish that the moral values driving the Bush Administration's tax policy decisions reflect objectivist ethics, a form of atheism that exalts individual property rights over all other moral considerations. Given the overwhelming adherence to Christianity and Judaism, I conclude that President Bush, many members of Congress and many Americans are not meeting the moral obligations of their faiths, and, I argue that tax policy must start reflecting genuine Judeo-Christian values if the country is to survive in the long run.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2006/06/hamill_on_bush_.html

Scholarship | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4eab53ef00d83563e67269e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hamill on Bush Tax Policies Violate Judeo-Christian Ethics:

Comments