Jim Tobin (activist)

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James Tobin is an American economist and educator. He is the founder of Taxpayers United of America and a proponent of tax relief.

Early life[edit]

Tobin was born in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a B.A. in economics with a minor in finance at St. Joseph College. After college, Tobin studied American history and earned an M.A. in international economics from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.


Tobin began his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He spent nine years as a Federal Reserve Bank Examiner, specializing in international finance. He was one of the first experts to predict the collapse of Continental Bank and to warn of the dangerous extension of credit by U.S. banks to bankrupt foreign governments.[citation needed]

In 1976, Tobin founded Taxpayers United of America. He has appeared on radio and TV programs including ABC,[1] CBS,[2] FOX,[3] WGN[4] and NBC news programs. His tax cutting activities have been the subject of articles by newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and the Chicago Sun Times.[5]

From 1979 to 1999, Tobin taught economics at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. His free market theories generate wide support from taxpayers who want economic prosperity and tax cuts.

Tax relief efforts[edit]

Tobin is a proponent of a flat rate income tax of 10 percent. His Chicago-based organization, Taxpayers United of America,[6] actively supported the 1981 federal income tax cut and federal income tax indexing. Tobin also supports the proposed balanced budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Tobin gained notoriety in 1977, leading the first successful property tax strike in Illinois history.[citation needed]

Illinois gubernatorial race[edit]

In 2002, Tobin ran for lieutenant governor representing the Libertarian Party of Illinois, with State Representative Cal Skinner running for governor. Tobin’s daughter, election reform activist Christina Tobin, successfully defended 55,000 signatures for that race.


External links[edit]