Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Richard Posner, Tax Reform:
There is a good deal of dissatisfaction with the federal tax system (the
state and local systems as well, but I’ll confine my attention to the
federal). Most proposals for reform, however good in theory, are totally
impractical from a political standpoint. But since politics is
volatile, there is value to evaluating such proposals in order to lay a
foundation for future reform. ...
Given political resistance, the practical feasibility of substantial tax
reform is very limited. But at least a modest increase in federal
income tax rates seems a politically feasible as well as economically
defensible response to the need to increase federal revenue to cope with
the fiscal deficit.
Gary Becker, Reform of the Tax Code:
The federal tax code is a mess from any economic perspective.
It is not efficient, fair, or clear. A complete set of suggestions to improve
the tax system would take hundreds of pages, as did the excellent 2005 Report
of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. My discussion will
concentrate on a few of the needed changes that would help stimulate a more
efficient and faster growing American economy. ...
I discussed the most needed reforms, although other reforms
are also desirable-many are considered in the report mentioned above on federal
tax reform. Unfortunately, major reforms do not have much chance of enactment
in the present political climate, but they are longer run goals that should
appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.