What if all sides are wrong about taxes? – Salon.com

6 Mar

A useful review of tax policies, right, left, and center:

My point is that the three currently-popular options for tax reform—the conservative flat tax, the liberal ultra-progressive income tax, and the centrist formula of lowering rates while slashing loopholes—are all unrealistic, in different ways. Sorry, conservatives—if the U.S. gets a VAT or another national consumption tax, it will be in addition to federal and income taxes, not in place of them. Sorry, progressives—while income taxes on the rich can indeed be raised considerably, there really is a point at which doing so will backfire by encouraging massive tax avoidance or capital flight. The experience of Europe suggests that it makes more sense to add a VAT to the mix of American federal taxes, if you want to fund a European-style middle-class welfare state.

Oh, and tax centrists—if your goal in your career is not just to trim but to completely eliminate tax expenditures for middle class Americans as well as the rich, you are going to have a sad, frustrated life.

via What if all sides are wrong about taxes? – Salon.com.

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