TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Factual Distortions Derail Productive Debate on Tax Reform

Tax AnalystsS. Douglas Hopkins (Kestrel Consulting), Factual Distortions Derail Productive Debate on Tax Reform, 135 Tax Notes 1518 (June 18, 2012):

Public understanding of U.S. tax policy is characterized by grossly flawed and distorted facts that effectively derail productive dialogue about potential reform alternatives. Hyperpartisan debate built on erroneous facts and assumptions offers mutually flawed options and false choices. Progress toward broadly shared prosperity and growth can best be obtained by illuminating the underlying facts and reconciling the conflict between them and the dogmatic hyperbole of opposing positions.

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Besides the obvious bias of the author to "revenue" solutions versus "spending" solutions (focusing firstly on widening the tax base THEN practicing fiscal constraint), I wonder why he doesn't recognize the people want the public fisc to be managed like their household budgets!

The government is by the people for the people yet it sure seems backwards. We (the people), when faced with declining revenues (i.e. higher tax bills, loss of employment, stagnant wages, etc.) immediately look at cutting costs/spending. The government looks at our money as "their" money and when they need more of it (their revenue and our expense) well, power up the printing presses if POTUS, Legislative (and now SCOTUS) can't collude to extract money from the people they represent and serve.

I'm a middle income (in a good year) but, I'm ok with keeping hidden wealth (unrealized gains by the 1%) untaxed until the ruling elite shows some serious reform on the spending side. Otherwise, it's just a matter of time before the spending problem rears it's head.

In short, this article totally misses the point that we have deficits/debt due to spending more than what is collected.

Posted by: Raoul | Jul 3, 2012 4:57:37 PM