Date of Award

Spring 2016


Capstone - Open Access


Economics, Political Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Anthony Laramie


The Great Recession of 2007-2009 sparked widespread economic anxiety among the American public while setting the tone for the debate over economic policy to capture center stage in the 2012 Presidential election cycle. Concern over growing budget deficits and wealth concentration in the wake of the Recession caused much of this attention to shift onto the fiscal policy of the United States. Public dissatisfaction with the federal income tax code remains pervasive today, and 72 percent of Americans believe that the tax system needs either a major or complete overhaul, according to Pew Research Center (Doherty 2013). Support for such drastic tax reform is up from 46 percent in 2005 and dispersed across partisan and demographic groups. Although the majority of Americans favor some sort of tax reform, there is no consensus as to what direction or form such efforts should take.