While I’m strongly in favor of cleaning up the tax code — for one thing, middle-class families should not have to hire accountants to prepare their tax returns — I am also devoted to improving communities so that everyone has good health care coverage, high-performing schools, safe neighborhoods, and an opportunity for meaningful work that financially supports a family.
I believe that we need to reform the tax code that’s loaded with tax breaks that benefit the powerful few, and we should take the resulting funds and invest in our country’s infrastructure and human capital. A research project begun almost two years ago with funding from the Ford Foundation and others found that “Americans are not rigidly anti-tax,” and suggests that there is “an opportunity for a cultural shift” from the default mindset that fewer taxes are better. We need a “balanced, constructive, less reflexively negative” conversation about taxes and spending. We need it now. It may be too late — for the time being — at the federal level. Here in Maryland, Maryland Nonprofits has started the conversation. For more information about local activities, contact Henry Bogdan at Maryland Nonprofits. Click here for research on American attitudes about public revenue.