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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who needs Sudoku?

Between trying to figure out the Blazer playoff scenarios and answering last-minute tax questions (other people's as well as my own), my brain has been getting quite a workout today.

Comments (9)

It's time like these that make a flat tax seem like the right decision: eliminate most of the personal deductions, quit trying to shape social policy with tax incentives.

It's not just the deductions that make the income tax so maddening. Issues of the amount and timing of income, as well as taxpayer's status as a resident or nonresident of the taxing jurisdiction, give rise to much of the headache. A flat tax would be unfair, and although it would be simpler, it wouldn't be simple in absolute terms. Don't buy that snake oil.


Have you ever imagined the effect of having a tax system where income was not any business of the goverment?
A consumption tax or other means to tax, leaving the income part out of it.

I once read a long argumentation by someone detailing the many positive effects.

It would be extremely liberating IMO.

Academics have been arguing for a consumption tax for years. Flat-rate sales taxes aren't fair, though, and so the only fair consumption tax would increase rates as people's levels of consumption went up. That wouldn't be simple.

Mike Graetz, formerly of Yale, has advocated switching the United States to a European-style VAT, with an income tax left only for people who are presently at the AMT level or higher. That would make April 15 just another day for the vast majority of Americans. It's what we need. A VAT is just a sneaky flat-rate sales tax, however.

We debated all the tax plans in my Federal Income Tax class. Nothing seems even close to perfect.

There has got to be something so simple, that it is staring us in the face, but we can't see it. It shouldn't be this hard.

Fair or simple -- you can't have it both ways.

When life becomes fair, please call me.

Pain is the sign of weakness leaving your brain. Work it out. Go for the burn.

What don't thrill you only makes you sober.
Go buy wine. in vino, veritas

VAT tax? Such a good idea. Except that once it is described as "like a sales tax" it is dead in Oregon. Don't forget Al Ullman, 12 terms in Congress, about as powerful as anyone Oregon ever sent to Congress, Ways and Means chair. One day he said VAT might be a good idea. That was the end of Al.

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