Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the fortunes of American government in light of the work of James M. Buchanan, the Virginia school political economist whose thinking on constitutional revolution played a formative, if largely unrecognized, role in shaping the tax revolt. By looking backwards, to an earlier wave of constitutional tax and spending limits enacted in the American South during the Redemption era, and forwards, to the increasingly regressive nature of local government revenue generation in the wake of the tax revolt, this article shows that Virginia school neoliberalism is less an argument against taxation than an argument in favor of regressive forms of taxation that are rarely acknowledged as such—user fees, fines, and flat-rate levies. The city of Ferguson, Missouri, which has become infamous for its exorbitant use of municipal ordinance violations and court fees to fund local services, is examined as a real-world experiment in Virginia school public finance.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2576-6406
Print ISSN
2576-6392
Pages
pp. 41-87
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-06
Open Access
No
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