Dan Bucks, who served as the Montana Director of the Department of Revenue from 2005-2013, has written a very insightful column about the conservative effort to roll back the post World War 2 progressive budget policies that helped power the American economy and grow the middle class. It’s an important read—both because it offers needed support for state budgeting priorities that protect the interests of people living there and a warning about the dangers erasing that progress to impose the “new” old conservatism of the McKinley Era.
Bucks writes that progressive policies to build education and infrastructure were critical into making the United States the world’s leading economic power:
After the war, the states continued the expansion of high school education and also took on the task of vastly expanding public higher education — efforts that continued to require increased revenue. All through that period, the federal, state, and local governments increased taxes and invested in infrastructure at unprecedented levels. In no small part, state and local governments’ decisions to both tax and spend contributed mightily to transforming the United States into the leading nation in the world.
The entire piece, originally published by Tax Analysts, is available here.