Cleaning up Politics Through Tax Reform
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  • Scott

    I think your overall point is excellent. However, you lose me when you start suggesting “super-majorities” for certain proposals. I agree that we shouldn’t muck up a tax code should we ever get it simplified. However, requiring a “super majority” is mucking up the concept of “one person, one vote.” Use disclosure and responsible citizenship to keep representatives honest, not gimmicks. Yes, it’s harder and doesn’t always work but it avoids the always lurking beast of unintended consequences.

  • Tom Holsinger

    The sole purpose of increasing tax rates is to sell tax breaks in exchange for campaign contributions to deserving Congressmen and state legislators.

    Tax law professor adage: “When you see a businessman doing something which doesn’t seem to make sense, its’ probably about taxes.”

    Political adages:

    When you see a non-profit organization doing something which doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s probably about fund-raising.

    Non-profit organizations, regardless of their origins, always turn into self-perpetuating entities dominated by their fund-raising staff absent an initial creation requirement that their existence terminate after a set period of years.

  • Toni

    The only way to “reduce the incentive for lobby groups to pump money into politics” is to reduce the incentive for ALL groups, including those Democratic donor mainstays, unions and trial lawyers.

    Of course, this will never pass.

  • Maddog

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. Attempting to bind future congresses with present legislation is a losing proposition.

    I would offer an alternative. Eliminate the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and replace it with one which allows Congress to annually demand a budget appropriation from each state based on its pro rata portion of the population. Since Oregon has 1% of the US population it would be obligated to remit 1% of the annual US budget.

    This would create a problem since the states powers have been eroded by expansion of the Interstate Commerce Clause, among other things, and so the 17th Amendment to the Constitution (Direct Election of Senators) should also be repealed (I would like to see one of the federalism amendments currently being discussed at least considered).

    With states appointing Senators and remitting a pro rata share of the budget appropriation we would see dramatic change to realign power between the states and federal government. This would move the country away from the slowly collapsing Blue State Model to a new and more modern political/economic arrangement.

    Mark Sherman

  • JAY

    By all means eliminate tax loop holes and regulation and subsidies and “targeted investments” and anything else that allows the government to influence the flow of money to the well connected.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    All businesses are owned by people, so why are businesses taxed, and then the owners are taxed again on the same income. This double taxation wouldn’t be a problem if we just got rid of all business taxes, as ultimately all taxes are paid by people, and politicians are simply trying to hide the real burden of the Government Monopoly with business taxes (and create opportunities for graft). There would be the added benefits of reduced lobbying efforts from businesses and the corruption it engenders, an end to business tax compliance costs which run $400 Billion for $2.2 Trillion collected for the total economy (I don’t know the business share of the compliance costs, just that businesses pay about $400 billion of the $2.2 collected, and that their share of the compliance costs is much higher than it is for taxpayers, perhaps it would save the economy $200 billion), an end to businesses making economic decisions based on their tax implications instead of their profit potential. Businesses would repatriate billions in foreign profits, pumping job creating capital into the economy’s fuel tank. The price of goods and services would fall at the same time as people would realize the true cost of the burden of the Government Monopoly.

  • Lexwolf

    Just last month, Sarah Palin proposed the elimination of the corporate income tax, along with all deductions, subsidies and other corporate welfare. Solves most of the problem, doesn’t it? Why would big-money corporate types give $millions to the politicians if there wasn’t an expected payoff somewhere down the line? Now, this wouldn’t solve the problem of people like George Soros or the Koch brothers who are motivated by ideology but it would take care of most everybody else.

    Of course, it ain’t gonna happen because she’s so “stupid”.

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