Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Top 10 Tax Presidents

Tax Analysys Logo (2013) Joseph J. Thorndike (Tax Analysts), The Top 10 Tax Presidents, 145 Tax Notes 1303 (Dec. 22, 2014):

[I]n the service of inspiration -- and perhaps consternation -- I've compiled a list of influential tax presidents. It bears repeating: This is not a roster of good tax presidents. It's an assessment of presidential influence on the development of the federal tax system, whether for good or bad. Indeed, given the politicization of tax policy, it's likely that several of these presidents will be judged as both heroes and villains, depending on who's doing the judging.

  1. Ronald Reagan
  2. Franklin Roosevelt
  3. Woodrow Wilson
  4. George Washington
  5. Thomans Jefferson
  6. George W. Bush
  7. Calvin Coolidge
  8. William Howard Taft
  9. John F. Kennedy
  10. George H.W. Bush

To probably no one's surprise, President Ronald Reagan claims the title in this ranking of America's top tax presidents. It's a close call, with both FDR and Wilson plausible alternatives. But Reagan wins for versatility. In legislative terms, his presidency was marked by both a spectacular tax reduction and a historically unique tax reform. Even more important, Reagan was both the creator and the expression of a powerful antitax strain in U.S. political culture.

Tax, Tax Analysts | Permalink


Two serious flaws here. Like, Dude, what about Lincoln? And Wilson should be No. 1 without a doubt. As for Reagan, I like to say he destroyed the psychological tax base (aside from presiding over 11 tax increases).

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 23, 2014 6:12:29 AM