Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Does Anyone Pay Their Taxes?

Our nation's debt is now almost $11 t ... t ... ttt ... tttrillion dollars yet it is clear that many people in high places don't pay their full due in taxes. A fourth Obama pick has now been nailed for tax "avoision."

This suggests two things to me:

1) Maybe the Senate should swap places with the IRS. It seems to be awfully good at sniffing out tax problems. Or maybe Obama should nominate everyone who makes more than $200-250k per year for something that would require a Senate looky loo. At the rate the Senate finds problems, it could pay down a good chunk of the debt. (Po' folks probably also have tax issues but it just wouldn't be cost effective to find $50 here, $500 there. Plus, there are so many of us, especially now.)

2) Maybe, just maybe, our tax code is too complex? Maybe people, even highly trained CPAs, do make honest mistakes because the code is so ... well, like a huge ever changing inconsistent blob?

Too bad the Flat Taxers of the 1990s messed up by seeming to argue for regressive income taxation instead of massive tax simplification. Cutting out deductions (especially that horrible mortgage interest deduction ... on new mortgages anyway) would allow Obama to slash nominal rates while increasing the total tax haul. Not to mention freeing up millions of man (and woman) hours currently wasted on figuring out how much one's season basketball tickets can be deducted.

1 comment:

i-History said...

Where can I get that widget ticking up the debt? It's great!