Simplify the Tax Code

New Majority is a site for non-crazy conservatives to plan their route back from the wilderness led by David Frum (a former speechwriter for Bush). It’s mostly pretty good and the crazies are (mostly) confined to the comments.

Frum asked readers to submit their frustrations about the tax code and proposals for making it better. I submitted my T= rI – B proposal:

My proposal addresses both benefits and taxes in one swoosh.

Replace all taxes with a single, flat rate income tax. No deductions. No tax credits. No payroll tax. No sales tax. No distinctions between earned income and income from capital gains, dividends, profits, gambling or inheritance.

Income is income. Income is taxed at a flat rate.

Replace all benefits with a single flat rate benefit. No pensions. No disability No food stamps. No unemployment benefits. No social security. No means testing.

Everyone receives the same benefit. Government may decide to scale the benefit for minors to encourage/discourage children.

To calculate your tax liability, you add up all your income (I) and multiply it by the current tax rate (r) and subtract the current level of benefit (B).

If the number is positive, that’s how much tax you owe. If it’s negative, the government mails you a check.

But they only posted the postscript:

The thing that annoys me most every year, is the idea that I might get in trouble because I don’t understand the tax code.

Tax day was hell for me this year because I had to wade through pages of ambiguous opinions about which state I should pay taxes to when I spent half the year working in another state and the other half working in a state that I didn’t live in.

And because turbo tax has started its inevitable slide from Delight the User to Make them Swear at the Screen.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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