The American Rescue Plan Act could do more to tackle racial wealth inequality, argues professor Goldburn P. Maynard Jr.

While the American Rescue Plan Act provided a major infusion of economic aid to low-income and middle-class Americans, more should be done to address racial wealth inequality and the structural issues in the tax code that allow those at the top of the income distribution to benefit disproportionately from tax subsidies, writes Maynard, assistant professor of business law and ethics at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Maynard analyzed the American Rescue Plan Act’s major provisions to determine their potential impact on racial equity, presenting his findings in Yale Law Journal.

The article is part of a forum series that examines the novel tax implications of the American Rescue Plan Act through the lens of fiscal impoverishment, race, unemployment insurance, and state and local responses to economic crises.

“While analysis reveals that the Biden Administration made some progress on (racial equity) through ARPA, in the months since its passage, federal courts have undermined some of this progress by halting race-conscious equity programs in ARPA,” writes Maynard, who worked as an estate tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service before entering academia. His essay argues that “race consciousness is central to achieving” racial equity and “requires more than traditional policies that target financial need.”

The bulk of the stimulus measure focused on redistribution through the tax system, which does not incorporate racism and other dimensions of social inequity into its notions of fairness, Maynard writes. To this day, the IRS does not collect racial data on taxpayers.

Read the full article about racial wealth inequality by George Vlahakis at Futurity.