The Politics of Tax and Budget Policy

Congressional power of the purse has been an unusually strong American trait from the beginning of the country, and has evolved in interesting and consequential ways.  This course will cover the development of our current tax structure and budget process and possibilities for tax and budget reform. The course will also cover ways that the politics of fiscal policy shape (and are shaped by) other major topics of interest and what we value as a nation—fighting wars, providing a safety net for citizens, and engaging in democratic discourse and partisan competition.

Specific topics may include:

  • Evolution of tax and budget policy
  • Rise and fall of current tax policy and budget process
  • Possibilities for tax and budget reform
  • The salience of fiscal policy for war, the welfare state, and political parties

Research Seminars meet approximately four times for two hours, over the course of 12 weeks. The first meeting date is published, with the others determined at the first class.

NOTE: If a class is indicated that it will be conducted in an online format expect a mix of live virtual sessions/instruction and a few supplemental components to be completed independently. Participants will receive course information with syllabus and online access details approximately a week before the start date.

Download the Certificate Program Application (PDF) and review the Application Procedures.

2025 Date: 





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