The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

30 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2018

See all articles by Linda Sugin

Linda Sugin

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: October 29, 2018


This Essay exposes the moral messages implicit in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). It argues that the legislation reflects values that were not openly debated or discussed in the legislative process, but are crucial to the distributional effects of the law. The TCJA reduces progressivity and increases deficits because it favors traditional families, prefers capital to labor income, treats people as detached from each other, makes charity the narrow concern of the rich, and privileges the acquisition of assets. Fairness in taxation depends on explicitly identifying social values that produce economic justice and purposely designing the law to achieve fairness.

Suggested Citation

Sugin, Linda, The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (October 29, 2018). 128 Yale L. J. Forum 403 (2018); Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3274775. Available at SSRN:

Linda Sugin (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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