Does anyone like our tax code? Who opposes tax reform? What say you?
We’re going to hear a lot of polarized rhetoric over the next few months. The Republicans and Democrats will seem to disagree about everything. But there is one huge and important area where there is a possibility – a possibility – of bipartisan action and that’s tax reform.
Most Americans – Republicans and Democrats – dislike the tax code. They’re right to do so. America has what is arguably the world’s most complex tax code. The federal code plus IRS rulings is now 70,000 pages long. The code itself is 16,000 pages. The statist French, for example, have a tax code of only 1,909 pages – only 12% as long as ours. And then there are countries like Russia, the Czech Republic, Estonia that have innovated and moved to a flat tax, with considerable success.
You have to understand, complexity equals corruption….
The U.S. tax system is not simply corrupt, it is corrupt in a deceptive manner that has degraded the entire system of American government. Congress is able to funnel vast sums of money in perpetuity to its favored funders through the tax code without anyone realizing it.
For those who despair at the role of money in politics, the simplest way to get the corruption out of Washington is to remove the prize that members of Congress give away – preferential tax treatment. A flatter tax code with almost no exemptions does that.
The simplest fix to our tax code would be would be to lower the income tax dramatically, lower the corporate tax, and instead raise revenues through a national sales tax, or a value-added tax (VAT).
The U.S. is the only rich country in the world without a national sales tax. Germany has one at 19%, Britain at 20%, Korea at 10%.