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)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


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

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down