The Origins of Capital Gains Taxation: What’s Law Got to Do with it

Southwestern Law Journal, Vol. 39, p. 869, 1985

60 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009  

Marjorie E. Kornhauser

Tulane University School of Law

Date Written: 1985

Abstract

This Article has two interrelated narratives: the origins of capital gains taxation, and the relationship between the Supreme Court and Congress. The underlying theme of both narratives, however, is as important as the factual content. That theme, simply put, is that results can neither be understood nor judged independently of the context that created them. We tend to view taxation as an exact science because of its involvement with numbers and economics. In the tax area, however, as in other fields, an historical viewpoint is a necessity. In the words of Harold Groves: “Taxation is an art and a technique as well as science, and it always needs to be judged against the conditions of time and place.”

Keywords: capital gains, consumption tax, economics, income taxation, legal history, politics, realization

Suggested Citation

Kornhauser, Marjorie E., The Origins of Capital Gains Taxation: What’s Law Got to Do with it (1985). Southwestern Law Journal, Vol. 39, p. 869, 1985. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1407663

Marjorie E. Kornhauser (Contact Author)

Tulane University School of Law ( email )

6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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