How Should We Reform Taxes?

More

by Patrick Appel

Bruce Bartlett has some ideas. He points out practical problems with the flat tax, which Andrew has long favored:

[T]he flat tax always required a trade off between the exemption level and the rate. The higher the exemption, the greater the number of people paying no income taxes at all, which broadened support. But that required a higher rate to bring in enough revenue, which reduced support. Experience showed that the rate could not be much above 20% or support for the flat tax simply evaporated...Finding a rate and an exemption that fully satisfied every political requirement proved to be impossible if the flat tax were to be implemented in a revenue-neutral manner--neither raising nor lowering the overall tax burden.

Bartlett is enticed by the Wyden-Gregg plan:

[It] would be highly desirable to clean up the tax code, eliminate special tax provisions, and try to establish more uniform effective tax rates across income classes. That is what Sens. Wyden and Gregg propose. Here is a list of the credits, deductions, exclusions and other tax preferences they would abolish. A key benefit would be abolition of the Alternative Minimum tax in return.

It's too soon to say whether the Wyden-Gregg proposal is a viable vehicle for tax reform, but it's a good start.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down