I’m a proponent of a pro-growth and non-corrupt tax code.
I mostly write and talk about the flat tax, though I’d be happy to instead accept a national sales tax if we could somehow get rid of the 16th Amendment and replace it with something so ironclad that even Justices such as John Roberts and Ruth Bader Ginsburg couldn’t rationalize that the income tax was constitutional.
But since there’s no chance of any good tax reform with Obama in the White House, there’s no need to squabble over the best plan. Instead, our short-term goal should be to educate voters so that we create a more favorable intellectual climate for genuine reform in 2017 and beyond.
But tax reform also means getting rid of the rat’s nest of deductions, credits, exemptions, preferences, exclusions, shelters, loopholes, and other distortions in the tax code.
Why? Because people should make decisions on how to earn income and how to spend income on the basis of what makes economic sense, not because they’re being bribed or penalized by the tax code. That’s just central planning through the back door.
And if you don’t think this is a problem, I invite you to peruse three startling images, each of which measures rising complexity over time.