Sunday, March 24, 2019
American University Washington College of Law, 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference: People of Color and the Future of Democracy:
Tax Reform Gone Wrong: The High Cost of Trump Tax Cuts for People of Color:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as #TrumpTaxCuts, made sweeping changes to our tax laws. Far from addressing, fixing, or improving institutional racism in the tax code that financially disadvantages people of color, the new law strengthened some of these provisions and even added new ones. The panel of tax scholars will deconstruct and discuss these changes and suggest how we might move forward.
- Darrick Hamilton (The New School)
- Randall Johnson (Mississippi College)
- Christine Kim (Utah) (moderator)
- Francine Lipman (UNLV)
- Goldburn Maynard (Louisville)
Tax Policy and Social Justice
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was advertised as a means to reduce taxes on average for all income groups in both 2018 and 2025. However, the Tax Policy Center issued a statement indicating the TCJA favored tax breaks for businesses over people. Other studies suggest that the TCJA exacerbates longstanding patterns of wealth inequity among individuals, particularly with regard to racial identity. Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, nationally and internationally, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions seems to make an exception for tax policy. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit. When the system provides disproportionate resources to taxpayer of high economic means without commensurate resources to the middle and lower income taxpayers, society continues to experience widening wealth gaps that may have global effects. This panel proposal seeks to offer engaging research and discussion of tax policies and the global economic consequences we face as we continue to allow tax policy to promote and disproportionately serve the few.