Michael J. Graetz

Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law

Michael J. Graetz

Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law

Michael J. Graetz, Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law, is a leading expert on national and international tax law.

His recent scholarship, including his book The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (with Linda Greenhouse), Simon & Schuster, 2016, has focused on U.S. legal history and problems around economic inequality. Graetz has written books on federal taxation, including a leading law school text, as well as more than 80 articles on a wide range of tax, international taxation, health policy, and social insurance issues.

He joined the Law School’s faculty in the fall of 2009 after holding faculty positions at Yale Law School for nearly 25 years. Prior to his time at Yale, Graetz was Professor of Law and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology; Professor of Law at the University of Southern California from 1979 to 1983; and law professor at the University of Virginia Law School from 1972 to 1979.

In addition to his teaching career, Graetz has held several positions in the federal government. He was assistant to the secretary and special counsel for the Department of the Treasury in 1992, and deputy assistant secretary for tax policy at the Department of the Treasury from 1990 to 1991. He served on the commissioner's advisory group of the Internal Revenue Service, and in the Treasury Department in the Office of Tax Legislative Counsel.

Graetz has been a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow and received an award from Esquire Magazine for courses and work in connection with the provision of shelter for the homeless. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2013, he was awarded the Daniel M. Holland Medal by the National Tax Association for outstanding contributions to the study and practice of public finance.

Graetz earned his LL.B. from the University of Virginia in 1969 and his B.B.A. from Emory University in 1966.

  • LL.B., University of Virginia, 1969
  • B.B.A., Emory University, 1966
Areas of Expertise
  • U.S. and international tax law
  • Social Security
  • Health care reform
  • History of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, (with Linda Greenhouse), Simon & Schuster, 2016
  • Follow the Money: Essays on International Taxation, 2016
  • “Can a 20th Century Business Income Tax Regime Serve a 21st Century Economy?” 30 Australian Tax Forum 551, 2015
  • “Unlocking Business Tax Reform,” Tax Notes (with Alvin C. Warren), November 10, 2014
  • “Trusting the Courts: Redressing the State Court Funding Crisis,” Daedalus 143 (3), Summer 2014
  • “The Tax Reform Road Not Taken—Yet,” National Tax Journal 67 (2), June 2014
  • “Constitutional Uncertainty and the Design of Social Insurance: Reflections on the Obamacare Case,” (with Jerry Mashaw), 7 Harvard Law and Policy Review 343, 2013
  • Federal Income Taxation: Principles and Policies, (with Deborah Schenk), 2013 (7th edition)
  • “Constitutional Uncertainty and the Design of Social Insurance: Reflections on the ACA Case,” The Health Care Case: The Supreme Court’s Decision and its Implications, (with Jerry L. Mashaw), Oxford University Press, 2013
  • The End of Energy: The Unmaking of America’s Environment, Security and Independence, MIT Press, 2011
  • 100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States, Yale University Press, 2008
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth, (with Ian Shapiro), Princeton University Press, 2005
  • Foundations of International Income Taxation, Foundation Press 2003
  • True Security: Rethinking Social Insurance, (with Jerry Mashaw), Yale University Press, 1999
  • The U.S. Income Tax: What It Is, How It Got That Way and Where We go From Here, W.W. Norton & Co., 1999 
C. Tax Policy
Federal Income Taxation
S. Democracy & Distribution
S. Warren Burger's Supreme Court

Columbia Law School

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