Molly Michelmore is an associate professor of history at Washington & Lee University. Her research interests lie in 20th century American politics, and specifically in the relationship between fiscal policy, the politics of taxing and spending, and content of post-New Deal liberalism. She explored these concepts in her first book, “Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). Michelmore’s current research project, “As a Taxpayer and a Citizen: Rights, Obligations and Democracy in Modern America,” builds on this work by examining how various groups, including women, African Americans, property owners, pacifists and anti-war activists, immigrants and anti-immigration activists, the poor, and gay men and women have used their political and legal identities as taxpayers to affect policy changes and to expand (or defend existing) boundaries of citizenship.
With the First Penny Paid: Welfare Reform, Tax Policy and Political Change, 1960-1980