What Can Adam Smith Teach Us About Tax Policy?

June 3, 2015

I have a new publication up at Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. It examines the role that Adam Smith has played in influencing the public debate on tax policy in the last couple of centuries, and includes some critiques that Smith might have had against federal, state, and local tax systems in America today.

Other key discussions include:

  • A review of Smith’s four maxims of sound taxation
  • A deep dive on the benefit principle and ability-to-pay principle in public finance
  • How Smith thought about efficiency and deadweight loss in taxation, before those terms even existed

The full publication is available here.

Follow Scott on Twitter.

Was this page helpful to you?


Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles