Mother Jones


How Hillary can rein in Big Finance—and win over Bernie’s supporters in the process

UNLESS YOU’RE ONE of the lucky few who live in Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon, you pay a sales tax on almost everything you buy. We’re all so used to the idea that it seems completely natural. And why not? Sales taxes are simple and cheap to collect, they raise a lot of money, and they’re pretty easy on consumers since we end up paying in tiny increments that are generally fairly painless. What’s more, because sales taxes are part of the broad family of consumption taxes, economists say they’re relatively efficient.

But they aren’t perfect. In particular, they hit the poor quite hard. “Sales and excise taxes are the most regressive element in most state and local tax systems,” says the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which examines state tax systems

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Mother Jones

Mother Jones4 min readPolitics
Knotty By Nature
IN THE SUMMER OF 2014, officials in Toledo, Ohio, announced that the city’s tap water was no longer safe to drink. A toxic algae bloom caused by fertilizer runoff had poisoned Lake Erie, the primary water source for the area’s half-million residents,
Mother Jones6 min read
Left In The Dark
THE LAST BUS of the day pulls away from the parking lot outside the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, at 8:43 p.m. Twenty minutes later, a young woman pulls up the hood of her dark jacket, pushes open the jail lobby’s heavy door, and steps out i
Mother Jones3 min readNutrition
Gut Instincts
For decades, counting calories was seen as the key to staying fit. There are a few—actually a trillion—little problems with that.