Episode

6/3 The Tax System’s Role in Perpetuating Inequality in America w/ Dorothy A. Brown

June 3, 2021
Sam hosts Emory Professor of Law Dorothy A. Brown to discuss her new book, The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans – and How We Can Fix It, on the myriad ways in which race is coded into our tax systems, reserving benefits and breaks for white families across the board. Dorothy and Sam discuss the difficulty of tracking racially disparate tax policy when the IRS refuses to track data on race, and how she came to look into race and taxation. They explore how family tax policies since the early 1900s have explicitly served white folks – from reserving benefits for single wage households, to how the free transfer of wealth has let wealthy white families separate death from taxes – and how 529s and student loans act to ensure Black Americans pay more, and earn less, in going to college. Next, they look into how tax subsidies reinforce the racist housing market, privileging homeowners in white neighborhoods over tenants and homeowners in Black communities, and how this has created more demand on the income of Black folks to support the housing of their families. Sam then gets some free accounting help as they dissect how the Democrats’ discussion on raising the SALT deduction cap provides meaningless benefits for the wealthy. Lastly, Sam and Emma round out the show by discussing the transition back into the Brooklyn office, before they admire Kyrsten Sinema’s dedication to avoiding hard decisions on the Senate floor.

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Past Episodes

Sam and Emma host author Clint Smith to discuss his new book How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America on how the legacy of slavery continues to live on in American society in ways we may not recognize. We're live at 11 am ET. Become a member at ...
Sam and Emma host David Sirota, founder of and editor at The Daily Poster, to discuss the tough developments around progressive hopes for the Biden Administration, including bipartisan dead-ends, bad-faith attacks on Ilhan Omar, and the possibilities of filibuster reform in the Senate. Sam, ...
Emma hosts Astra Taylor, activist, and member of the Debt Collective, to discuss her new book Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions on how we can and must organize around each other to help lift ourselves out of the confining and isolating world that has only been exacerbated by the ...