Changing Taxes to Promote Jobs


Normally we think of tax policy in terms of raising or lowering taxes, but choosing what to tax is just as important. The structure of our tax code has a profound  effect on how businesses and people behave. Currently we tax labor heavily and consumption relatively little. By flipping that equation, raising taxes on things like luxury goods and instituting a carbon tax while lowering payroll taxes, the government can put millions back to work and encourage saving for the future.

Dream of a Nation Partner
When Americans Get to Work, America Works!

Get America Working!Get America Working! helps America see how it could expand the percentage of its population in the workforce dramatically. By thus giving tens of millions the choice to work, these people would live happier lives, the economy would grow far more robustly, and the cost of the country’s severe social ills and large dependent population would decline. Learn more.


Read the Get America Working! essay: "Switching Taxes to Get America Working"
Read the Get America Working essay

Endnotes & References



Tell your elected representative that it’s time to address a tax system that unduly penalizes employment. Get informed and write your representative here.



What If?

Q.  What if payroll taxes were reduced 17% and taxes on consumption were raised 13%?

A. Bill Drayton estimates this 30% change would roughly 30 to 40 million fulltime jobs in the next 25 years, all without incurring any extra debt.

Q.  What if our payroll taxes were dropped just 10%?

A.  One study found that employment would increase 10%, which would effectively drop unemployment by 1 point.