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The fine art of social policy taxation

Using taxes to shape social policy is nothing new. People have been doing just that in every country with every conceivable type of political system as soon as the nation's governing structure was put in place.

But here in America, the practice has become almost an art form. A surreal art form in many cases, to be sure, but definitely a colorful one.

The_scream_munch_2_1 If you look over the enrollment of this "art" school, you'll see it represents students of many and diverse genres.
I can definitely see Munch's The Scream -- Ohhhh, the horror of our growing deficit! -- facing off with Dali's dripping clocks -- Not enough time in this legislative session to pass the laws!

Yes, each "artist" looking to use taxes to leverage social causes paints with various hues, depending upon the particular viewing public's taste, and frames his or her masterpieces in myriad ways. It is definitely an eclectic collection.

And here are a couple of new pieces to put up on our SocioTax Gallery walls.

First, we unveil a work from researchers at Columbia University that's got economists and sociologists and politicians and teachers buzzing. The University says that if we could cut the high school dropout rate in half, taxpayers would save $127,000 per new graduate.

The biggest tax-saving benefit: Students who finish high school probably won't need Medicaid or welfare benefits. You can get the rest of the fiscally advantageous reasons to make sure that the punk down the street graduates in this MarketPlace radio story.

MarketPlace continues to be a fine patron of our tax art showplace. The business radio program also brings us a report on another study that says high taxes and good health, especially when it comes to children, go hand in hand.

OK, all you social scientists, policy makers, art lovers and tax mavens, have at it. Compare, contrast, discuss.

And please feel free to stop by often. Our doors are open 24/7, admission is free and our exhibits are always changing.


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