Tower Center Forum Event | Dennis Ippolito: The Tax Wars

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (map)

Dennis Ippolito, Professor, Political Science, SMU

From the early battles between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians to the contemporary partisan clashes over taxes and “big government,” tax policy has been at the heart of national politics. Deficits, Debt, and the New Politics of Tax Policy examines how wars, changing conceptions of the role of government, and beliefs about deficits and debt shaped the modern tax system. Its contemporary focus is the causes and consequences of the partisan disconnect between taxes and spending that began in the 1960s and has plagued the budget ever since. The nation now faces a deficit and debt challenge of extraordinary magnitude, but debates over budget policy continue to be divorced from fiscal realities.

Dennis S. Ippolito is the Eugene McElvaney Professor of Political Science and chairman of the Department of Political Science at SMU. Prior to joining the faculty at SMU in 1982, he taught at Emory University and the University of Virginia. His latest book, Deficits, Debt, and the New Politics of Tax Policy, is being published by Cambridge University Press this fall. Other books on federal budget policy include Why Budgets Matter: Budget Policy and American Politics; Uncertain Legacies: Federal Budget Policy from Roosevelt through Reagan; Budget Policy and the Future of Defense; Hidden Spending: The Politics of Federal Credit Programs; Congressional Spending; and The Budget and American Politics. In 2010, he received the Aaron B. Wildavsky Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Public Budgeting and Finance from the Association on Budgeting and Financial Management of the American Society for Public Administration.

Open only to Tower Center Forum members, SMU students, faculty and staff.

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If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Luisa del Rosal at