Alumni (National Fellow)

Laura Blessing

National Fellow
M.A. University of Virginia (2010)
Ph.D. University of Virginia (2014)
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Fields of Interest:
American Political Development
Political Parties
Tax Policy

Thesis Description:

The New Politics of Taxation: The Republican Party and Anti-Tax Positions
Blessing’s dissertation, “The New Politics of Taxation: The Republican Party and Anti-Tax Positions,” investigated the development of our current tax politics. In the mid-1950s to mid-1970s a balanced budget consensus and low levels of politicization were apparent. Since then, these have changed, with profound consequences. This transformation has been caused, not by ideological or economic factors, but rather by a national Republican party-building strategy. This is evident in a number of different measures, both qualitative and quantitative, from roll call votes and party platforms to the coordination strategies of national party leaders. The party has used an explicitly anti-tax strategy to win elections and build a powerful coalition of many otherwise disparate groups.

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