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Rich People's MovementsGrassroots Campaigns to Untax the One Percent$
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Isaac Martin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199928996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928996.001.0001

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Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows

(p.155) Chapter 7 Strange Bedfellows
Rich People's Movements

Isaac William Martin

Oxford University Press

Movement entrepreneurs kept rich people’s movements alive during the 1970s by crafting their policy demands to embrace other issues. The Liberty Amendment activist Howard Jarvis abandoned the cause of income tax repeal and turned his attention to repealing or limiting local property taxes, in order to capitalize on a policy threat that mobilized homeowners in California. The National Taxpayers’ Union and the National Tax Limitation Committee got tax limitation back on the federal agenda by packaging Jarvis-style tax limitation together with a balanced budget amendment, another popular issue in the late 1970s. Although these two policies seemed contradictory—balancing the budget could even require tax increases—creative policy crafting allowed tax limitation activists to capitalize on the popularity of the balanced budget amendment. Pressure for a constitutional amendment ultimately contributed to some of the tax cuts in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981.

Keywords:   income tax, tax limitation, balanced budget amendment, Ronald Reagan, Howard Jarvis, Proposition 13, tax revolt, John Birch Society

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