Despite the intensity of the debate over President Bush's tax policies, all political factions seem to agree that tax and spending programs should, on average, distribute economic resources from the rich to the poor. The arguments involve the amount of redistribution; only fringe groups ask whether it should occur at all. This paper will give a brief history of various arguments regarding taxes. If history repeats, the distributional and social values expressed by tax policy will continue to jump around, but on a fairly small playing field.
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