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Tax Day Is America’s Anti-Holiday and the Tax Code Is Anti-American

It’s that time of year. Those of us who wait until the last minute are rushing to get tax returns filed (or extensions submitted). So it’s also a good time to remind ourselves that there is a better way. Economists look at the tax system and focus on the warts that undermine growth. High marginal […]

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Lessons for the United States (and other Nations) from Estonia: Fight Corruption by Shrinking Government

I’m a big fan of Estonia. According to both the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation, it has considerable economic freedom. It has a low-rate flat tax, meaning that investors, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners aren’t punished for contributing more to the nation’s economic output. It responded to the 2008 crisis by cutting spending rather than […]

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Rewarding a Corrupt IRS with a Bigger Budget: Another “Own Goal” by the GOP

The good thing about being nonpartisan is that I can freely criticize (or even praise) policy makers without giving any thought to whether they have an R or D after their name. That doesn’t mean Republicans and Democrats are the same, at least with regards to rhetoric. The two big political parties in the United […]

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Pro and Con: George Will vs. Al Hunt on Impeaching a Corrupt IRS Commissioner

When someone says “IRS,” my Pavlovian response is “flat tax.” That’s because I’m a policy wonk and I’d like to replace our punitive internal revenue code with something simple and fair that doesn’t do nearly as much damage to our economy. And it’s a fringe benefit that real tax reform would substantially de-fang the IRS. […]

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Microsoft Audit Scandal Shows that Restraints on Abusive IRS Should Be Part of Tax Reform Plans

I’m delighted that so many presidential candidates are talking about partial tax reform and I’ve specifically analyzed the plans put forth by Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump. These proposals all make the tax code less punitive, and that would be good news for job creation, growth, and American competitiveness. But that […]

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The Willful Blindness of an IRS Sycophant

Remember Sleepless in Seattle, the 1993 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Well, there should be a remake of that film entitled Clueless in Washington. But it wouldn’t be romantic and it wouldn’t be a comedy. Though there would be a laughable aspect to this film, because it would be about an editorial […]

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On the Flat Tax, Is the IRS Boss Right and Ted Cruz Wrong?!?

I’m not a fan of the IRS or it’s Commissioner, a partisan Democrat named John Koskinen. The agency has become politicized, interfering with America’s political process. Needless to say, I’m not shedding tears that the bureaucracy is no longer getting big budget increases. By contrast, I oftentimes applaud Senator Ted Cruz. His shutdown fight against […]

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Crocodile Tears for the IRS

I can’t help but wonder whether the song made famous by The Grinch Who Stole Christmas should be the theme song for the Internal Revenue Service. After all, that bureaucracy is “as cuddly as a cactus” and “as charming as an eel.” And it appears that having “the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile” is not […]

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IRS Scandals Update

I generally don’t feel a special degree of animosity for the internal revenue service. After all, it’s the politicians who have created the 74,000-plus page monstrosity of a tax code. Blaming the IRS for enforcing that system is like blaming the police for the drug war. This isn’t to say the IRS is blameless. Just […]

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Is the IRS Suffering from “Fewer Resources”?

The internal revenue service has allowed itself to become a tool of the White House. To be more specific, bureaucrats at the tax-collection agency sought to undermine a free and fair political process by stifling political speech. And now the IRS is lying about its activities and trying to cover its tracks. This should be […]

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Lies, Damned Lies, and the IRS

When I wrote recently that the IRS was corrupt, venal, and despicable, I didn’t realize that I was bending over backwards to be overly nice. Every new revelation in the scandal shows that the agency is beyond salvage. Writing for Real Clear Markets, Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute is appropriately skeptical of the IRS. […]

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Lies, Damned Lies, and the IRS

When I wrote recently that the IRS was corrupt, venal, and despicable, I didn’t realize that I was bending over backwards to be overly nice. Every new revelation in the scandal shows that the agency is beyond salvage. Writing for Real Clear Markets, Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute is appropriately skeptical of the IRS. […]

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Ahem: Bill Whittle & Louis XV

Sorry guys, my antihistamine keeps me from putting three coherent thoughts together, so here’s Bill Whittle and the comparisons between King Obama I and Louis XV,

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The Corrupt, Dishonest, Venal, Despicable IRS

Some statements are so lame that they now serve only as punch lines. Nobody, after all, would ever claim to a teacher that “the dog ate my homework.” Moreover, surely few if any people ever actually assert to bill collectors that “the check is in the mail.” And I have to imagine that no guy […]

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Tax Day Fantasies

I realize this may be a thought crime by DC standards, but it sure would be nice to eliminate the high tax rates that undermine economic growth and reduce American competitiveness. At the risk of sharing too much information, I fantasize about a world without the internal revenue code. In addition to getting rid of […]

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Tax Day Fantasies

I realize this may be a thought crime by DC standards, but it sure would be nice to eliminate the high tax rates that undermine economic growth and reduce American competitiveness. At the risk of sharing too much information, I fantasize about a world without the internal revenue code. In addition to getting rid of […]

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Meanwhile, Back in America . . . Peggy Noonan

In many ways, it seemed like Peggy Noonan, after Reagan’s Presidency, went to the bubble of Manhattan and never looked out again. She used to know us well, as the speech at Ponte du Hoc showed. Who will ever forget that imagery of American Rangers, climbing the cliffs to free a continent. It spoke to us […]

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Obama’s Dismal Legacy of European-Style Long-Run Unemployment

Looking at labor markets, my biggest concern is the drop in labor force participation. The data from the Labor Department on the employment-population ratio, for instance, suggest a permanent reduction in the share of the population that is working. And since economic output and living standards ultimately depend on the quality and quantity of labor […]

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Obama’s ‘Apology’

Recently President Obama went on TV to “apologize” for the roll out of Obamacare and the fact that there are indeed those who are losing insurance they like, contrary to his express promise. This was seen as a political move at worst and perhaps a sign of hope as he again “promised” that they are […] . . . → Read More: Obama’s ‘Apology’ . . . → Read More: Obama’s ‘Apology’

Welfare Fraud Is another Reason to Replace the IRS with a Flat Tax

One of my missions in life is fundamental tax reform. I would like to replace the corrupt internal revenue code with a simple and fair flat tax. Though what I really want is a tax system that minimizes the damage of extracting money from the productive sector of the economy, so I’ll take any system […] . . . → Read More: Welfare Fraud Is another Reason to Replace the IRS with a Flat Tax . . . → Read More: Welfare Fraud Is another Reason to Replace the IRS with a Flat Tax