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Friday, November 10, 2006

Livingston on Religious Approaches to the Progressive Income Tax

Livingston_3 Ssrn_164Michael A. Livingston (Rutgers-Camden) has posted Rendering Unto Caesar: Religious Approaches to the Progressive Income Tax on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This paper discusses approaches to the progressive income tax by several major religious denominations, examining their use of Biblical and other source material and the manner in which they derive their positions for or against a progressive income tax. While a number of more conservative denominations have tended to oppose progressivity, frequently citing the Biblical tithe or 10 percent tax as a model flat income tax, a larger number of denominations - Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish - have tended to be more supportive, citing Biblical injunctions in favor of fairness and protection of the poor. More generally, The paper finds a surprising amount of convergence between liberal and conservative denominations on a number of tax issues, and suggests that religious groups can participate actively in public policy discussions without serious harm to secular values.

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