The real effects of America’s federal taxes

As another tax deadline approaches in the US, it’s worth taking a moment to think about why we fork over a portion of our hard-earned income every year, and what effect the ritual really has.

Pay checks for most Americans stagnated in the last 35 years. Economic forces rewarded high earners, did little for everyone else, and inequality widened. Yet as income dispersed, it also was redistributed to restore some equality, by changes in the tax code and by government-funded programs.

The...

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