Franklin Roosevelt and the Forgotten History of the Earned Income Tax

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


The early days of the federal income tax are now beyond living memory. As is typical when this happens, much of what used to be common knowledge is now lost to time, unless recovered by those with a particular interest in snooping through the dumpsters of history. <br> <br>I am one of those snoops. For years I have made my Federal Income Tax students review the tax returns of several famous people. One such return is Franklin Roosevelt’s 1934 return. On line 27 Roosevelt claimed an “Earned income credit” of $1,400. Curious as to why that was, I did some snooping. The answer not only recovers a bit of lost history about the never-ending battle between labor and capital, but also shows interesting connections between that lost history and tax policy embodied in the current Earned Income Tax Credit.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Jul 2017


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