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Tax and Budget Resources

Here you’ll find a directory of Tax and Budget resources. Use the information in this section, to deepen your understanding of the lessons and principles presented in our trainings and workshops; to gain insights and ideas on how to apply this knowledge in your everyday work; and to access tools to help you communicate about Tax and Budget issues in more concrete and constructive ways.

Articles and Commentary 

Tax Freedom Day a reminder of the Value of Shared Investments. The freedoms we enjoy come from taxes, not being taxed. North Carolina Policy Watch articulates this point by focusing on the great things that taxes have achieved—from the interstate highway system to the GI Bill to the economy recovery.

The "Tax Freedom Day" Trick (March 2011). In this Huffington Post article, Dave Johnson attacks the anti-tax "Tax Freedom Day" celebration by drawing our attention to the benefits of taxes. Emphasizing our interdependence, Johnson (rightly) demonstrates that when we pool our resources together, we accomplish more than any individual could otherwise. 

Thank Taxes Campaign (April 2010).The Alliance for a Better Minnesota started a campaign urging people to print out a "Thank Taxes" sign and take a picture of tax -supported things for which they are thankful - a great application of the idea of helping people understand the purposes behind government and the taxes that support public structures.

The Folly of Tax Freedom Day (April 2010). Sara Okas denounces "Tax Freedom Day" for ignoring the benefits that government provides. While offering an alternative understanding of Tax day, Okas explains the connection between taxes we pay today and the legacy we leave for our future generations.

Celebrating the Joys of April 15 (The New York Times. April 14, 2010).

While celebrating the joys of tax day, Gail Collins, wonders how “the government tax collectors have let the country get locked into the idea that April 15 is a day of sorrow and misery?”

5 Myths About Your Taxes (The Washington Post, April 4, 2010). In this op-ed, Roberton Williams and Rosanne Altshuler, prepare Americans for tax day by dispelling some of the most common tax myths including the notion that the poorest and the richest Americans don't pay taxes. 

The True Patriotism of Paying Taxes (Boston Globe. April 2, 2010). In this op-ed, James Carroll challenges the myth that America was born in rebellion against taxes and reminds us of the origins and the nobility of paying our taxes.

Our Love Hate Relationship with Taxes (The Boston Globe, February 7, 2010). This article by Charles Pierce, analyzes what our debate over taxes is really all about.

Don't Say the Tax Word  (The New Republic, January 13, 2010). In this article, Brad Plummer explores the question: Do people really have some incurable aversion to the word "tax"?

Ending the Hidden Agenda Behind Tax Cuts (Cognitive Policy Works, February 15, 2009).  In this article on framing taxes, Joe Brewer points out that something as simple as a metaphor can mean the difference between shared prosperity and widespread suffering.

Talking Taxes (The Longview Institute, January 30, 2007). In this first entry for her regular column on Talking Points Memo Cafe, Ruth Rosen shows us our taxes at work.

 Examples from our Partners in the Field

Without Taxes, America would be a Third World Country (, April 16, 2010). Sharon Kayne, and our friends at New Mexico Voices for Children, connect the dots between our taxes, our essential public structures, and our quality of life.

Paying Taxes is Good for You (Progressive Voices, April 14, 2008). In this article, Meg Gray Wiehe, and our partners at NC Policy Watch, make the connection between the taxes we pay and the benefits we gain from the public structures that are supported by those tax dollars.

Talking Points and Other Tookit Items

Talking about Taxes:  the Do's and Don'ts Debates about taxes are debates about government – its roles, responsibilities, legitimacy, scope, and, of course, the level of revenues necessary to accomplish its myriad functions.  This checklist offers some tips for navigating this difficult terrain in ways that can foster a more productive discussion about taxes and their purposes.

"Reclaiming Public Discourse on Taxes" presents a webinar Public Works held on March 29, 2011 titled "Taking Advantage of Tax Freedom Day and the Tax Season to Challenge Public Perceptions about Taxes." This webinar explored ways to reclaim the public discourse during tax season. Included is a guide, the recorded webinar, and powerpoint slides, along with talking points.

Presentation Slides

The Tax and Budget Slide Bank contains a slide with protesters surrounded by government infrastructure. Stay tuned... more tax-related slides to come!