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W&L Senior's Research Gets National Exposure

Joe Landry, a Washington and Lee senior from New Ipswich, N.H., spent this past summer in Lexington, where he used an E.A. Morris Research grant to study the impact of tax expenditures on low-income individuals with Harlan Beckley, the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and director of the Shepherd Poverty Program.

Earlier this month, Joe parlayed that work into a piece on the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog. The Roosevelt Institute is a non-profit organization devoted to “carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all.”

Titled “To Reduce the Deficit, End Redistribution to the Rich,” Joe’s piece argues for the reform of tax expenditures, which, he says, “are the functional equivalent of direct spending.”

His piece concludes:

Now it is time for the president and Congress to fulfill their promise to simplify the tax code, beginning with those at the top of the income scale. While tax expenditure reform for high-income households will not solve our fiscal problems single handedly, it represents an essential path forward for reducing the deficit without exacerbating the economic hardship of low-income Americans.

Read Joe’s complete piece here. And see Joe’s research project here.

Joe is an American history major with a minor in poverty studies. He is a Johnson Scholar and Bonner Leader.