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Monday, October 31, 2011

Sullivan: To Hell With Tax Reform -- For Now

Tax Analysts Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts), To Hell With Tax Reform -- For Now, 133 Tax Notes 509 (Oct. 31, 2011):

I hate to drag you away from your fascination with Herman Cain's 999 plan and Rick Perry's flat tax, but if we are going to make real progress, we can't fixate on every overhyped, half-baked tax slogan that comes along. Sooner or later we must get back to basics. Here's the main question: Should taxes be cut, raised, or reformed without changing overall revenue? The answer is that taxes should be cut in the short term, raised after we are clearly out of our cyclical downturn, and then reformed only after we have settled on the magnitude of tax increases needed for deficit reduction.

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From the article: "Republicans like to remind us that tax reform creates jobs."

Lower rates might create jobs, but tax reform destroys jobs by upsetting the economic equilibrium. The 1986 Tax Reform contributed heavily to a housing bust. This is not to deny that on-balance it was beneficial, but in the short run major tax changes disrupt and harm the economy. That's not good medicine for today's economy.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 31, 2011 12:06:59 PM