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The Hidden Welfare State [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $42.00 What's this?
Print List Price: $45.00
Kindle Price: $10.09
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Book Description

Despite costing hundreds of billions of dollars and subsidizing everything from homeownership and child care to health insurance, tax expenditures (commonly known as tax loopholes) have received little attention from those who study American government. This oversight has contributed to an incomplete and misleading portrait of U.S. social policy. Here Christopher Howard analyzes the "hidden" welfare state created by such programs as tax deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided retirement pensions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit. Basing his work on the histories of these four tax expenditures, Howard highlights the distinctive characteristics of all such policies. Tax expenditures are created more routinely and quietly than traditional social programs, for instance, and over time generate unusual coalitions of support. They expand and contract without deliberate changes to individual programs.

Howard helps the reader to appreciate the historic links between the hidden welfare state and U.S. tax policy, which accentuate the importance of Congress and political parties. He also focuses on the reasons why individuals, businesses, and public officials support tax expenditures. The Hidden Welfare State will appeal to anyone interested in the origins, development, and structure of the American welfare state. Students of public finance will gain new insights into the politics of taxation. And as policymakers increasingly promote tax expenditures to address social problems, the book offers some sobering lessons about how such programs work.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Howard's book is not meant for the reader with a casual interest in his subject. But. . . it stimulates all sorts of radical thoughts--some of them perhaps more radical than the author intended."--David Frum, The Wall Street Journal

From the Inside Flap

"At last, a clear and thoughtful exploration of almost uncharted territory--the extensive American system of tax subsidies for social benefits, targeted primarily on the well-to-do. Christopher Howard's thoroughly researched book will vastly increase our understanding of a significant and virtually unknown part of American policymaking."--Paul Pierson, Harvard University

"[The Hidden Welfare State] will make students of social policy rethink many of their key assumptions about how social policies are adopted and how they expand. It is essential reading for students of American social policy."--Margaret Weir, Brookings Institution


Product Details

  • File Size: 3041 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 31, 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQKR7K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,333,053 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
An outstanding coverage of the use of tax deductions as an alternative to direct government entitlements. Includes the history of such deductions in the United States from the early twentieth century to the present
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interested in current debates about dependency on goverment handouts? Read this and Susanne Mettsler (spelling? ) book. We are all on the take, just in different ways --mostly in tax breaks which are included revenue bills and rarely discussed in public debate with significant conquences for the democratic process. Bartels book helps explain why
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