Saturday, April 27, 2013
Americans don't like things that are inefficient, costly or unfair. Our federal tax code seems designed to be all three, a failing exacerbated by a patchwork of economically distorting subsidies and preferences found throughout the code and elsewhere. ...
We simply have to make some changes. We need a tax code that is flatter, fairer and simpler. Our code should retain its progressivity, but it can do so with lower rates and a wider tax base, something along the lines agreed by President Reagan and a Democratic Congress in the 1980s.
We need to cut back drastically on federal subsidies and preferences. The White House seems intent to repeatedly call for cuts in "oil and gas subsidies." Fine, but let's also cut back on subsidies for other industries. Let's cut agricultural subsidies, green energy subsidies, and any corporate welfare such as loan guarantees, research grants and targeted development funds. Federal subsidies for public broadcasting should be cut, as well as subsidies for Amtrak and speculative high-speed rail projects.
Fixing the tax code to make it encourage instead of discourage economic growth is critical for our nation's long-term success as it competes in the world economy. Cutting Washington's wasteful counterproductive efforts to take taxpayer dollars and hand them out to favored constituencies will not fully solve our deficit problem, but it would help. Putting the two together would be a strong start in solving our nation's economic problems and making our system efficient, cost effective, and fair.