Despite costing hundreds of billions of dollars and subsidizing everything from homeownership and child care to health insurance, tax expenditures (commonly known as tax loopholes) have received little attention from those who study American government Here Christopher Howard analyzes the "hidden" welfare state created by such programs as tax deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided retirement pensions, and the Earned Income Tax Credit Basing his work on the histories of these four tax expenditures, Howard highlights the distinctive characteristics of all such policies. As policymakers increasingly promote tax expenditures to address social problems, the book offers some sobering lessons about how such programs work.
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