A Picture of Society with Critical Tax Theory As Its Interpreter
41 J. Am. Tax'n Assocation 128 (2019)
6 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2020
Date Written: 2019
This essay reviews Anthony Infanti's book Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform that Mirrors Our Better Selves (MIT Press, 2018). Professor Infanti's work has long explored issues of bias and difference in the U.S. context, and with this book, he places his study of U.S. tax law in a comparative context with Canada, France and Spain. He uses the lenses of housing policy and the taxable unit to illustrate each country’s different values. Professor Infanti’s book illustrates the myriad ways that the U.S. tax law both supports and is a constituent part of a discriminatory legal system that treats people differently because of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, and disability. In that way, the tax laws are a “mirror” of the society we currently have. But Professor Infanti goes a step further and calls readers to see, in the reflection of the tax laws, the possibility of our “better selves.” Professor Infanti recognizes the extraordinary expressive value of the tax law; he imagines a system of collection, enforcement and public spending that benefits all people and reflects the nation’s highest and best values of equal opportunity, human dignity and shared community.
Keywords: taxation, housing, taxable unit
JEL Classification: K1, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation