In reviewing tax policy as a whole, the current system is grossly imbalanced. Although the structure of the U.S. taxing system is labeled as a progressive system, the reality is that the system, in operation, is a regressive taxing system. The benefits and treasures of tax policies flow to those of greater wealth while those with less wealth squarely shoulder the burdens of raising revenue. This Essay will briefly discuss how some tax policies work in concert to systematically shift wealth to the wealthiest taxpayers. This social arrangement is counter to what many would perceive as social justice. Social justice requires that those who are of greater means and receive greater benefits of tax policy should be responsible for a greater weight of the tax burdens.
This Essay will focus on the home mortgage interest deduction, capital gains exclusions from the sale of a home, and the estate tax and how these policies perpetuate income and wealth inequality. It will also discuss wealth and income inequality by determining benefits of wealth and measured burdens and responsibilities that should attach to ensure the preservation of social order to achieve social justice as applied to each tax policy discussed. By making adjustments to current policies, the tax code can be used to reduce the massive wealth and income disparity that currently exists.
Phyllis C. Taite, EXPLODING WEALTH INEQUALITIES: DOES TAX POLICY PROMOTE SOCIAL JUSTICE OR SOCIAL INJUSTICE?, 36 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 201 (2014), http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol36/iss3/2