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Columbia Law School

Tax Law

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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

"Keep Government Out Of My Medicare": The Elusive Search For Popular Support Of Taxes And Social Spending, Gillian Lester Jan 2012

"Keep Government Out Of My Medicare": The Elusive Search For Popular Support Of Taxes And Social Spending, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the broad reach of what is often referred to as the “social safety net,” Americans continue to have conflicted and contradictory attitudes about the relationship between tax burdens and social welfare benefits. Extensive and lively debates persist within political science, sociology, law, economics, and psychology over how mass publics form opinions about the role of the state in mediating economic equality through both taxation and welfare institutions. This chapter identifies several key themes that reappear across disciplinary and subject boundaries. Specifically: information about taxes and spending is complex and may be hard for ordinary citizens to fully apprehend, cognitive ...


Can Joe The Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, And Sustainable Policy Design, Gillian Lester Jan 2011

Can Joe The Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, And Sustainable Policy Design, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

How does one win popular support for laws designed specifically to redistribute economic wealth? One can hardly gainsay that this is a – perhaps the – defining issue for domestic policy in the age of President Obama. Even as the recent financial crisis has exposed the need for a reliable social safety net, attempts to respond through the political and legislative arenas have triggered increasingly hostile responses among conservatives, populists, Massachusetts voters, and incipient tea partiers. The puzzle of how to attract and preserve public support for law reform aimed at redistribution – of both income and risk – is of no small significance ...