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Tax Reform « Rogue Politics

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Is Putin Being Honest and Accurate about the Benefits of Russia’s Flat Tax?

I’m obviously a big fan of a simple and fair flat tax. In part, my support for fundamental reform is driven by my desire for a low rate, for no double taxation, and for the elimination of loopholes. Those are the economic reasons for reform. But I also am very much motivated by the moral […]

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Border-Adjustable Taxation, but Were Afraid (or too Bored) to Ask

House Republicans, as part of a generally laudable tax reform plan, want to replace the corporate income tax with a “destination-based cash-flow tax.” I’ve addressed that topic a couple of times. Left-leaning advocates like “destination-based” tax systems such as the DBCFT because such systems undermine tax competition and give politicians more ability to increase tax […]

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Concerns about the”Border Adjustable” Tax Plan from the House GOP, Part III

In the world of tax policy, there’s an intense debate about the “border-adjustable” provision that is part of the tax plan put forth by House Republicans, which basically would tax imports and exempt revenues generated by exports. It’s a bit wonky, but the simplest explanation is that GOPers want to replace the current corporate income […]

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Concerns about the”Border Adjustable” Tax Plan from the House GOP, Part II

I wrote yesterday to praise the Better Way tax plan put forth by House Republicans, but I added a very important caveat: The “destination-based” nature of the revised corporate income tax could be a poison pill for reform. I listed five concerns about a so-called destination-based cash flow tax (DBCFT), most notably my concerns that […]

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Concerns about the”Border Adjustable” Tax Plan from the House GOP, Part I

The Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan, have proposed a “Better Way” tax plan that has many very desirable features. Death tax repeal Depreciation replaced with expensing Corporate tax rate dropped to 20 percent No deduction for state and local taxes And there […]

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Hopes and Fears for Policy in 2017

Since yesterday’s column was a look back on the good and bad things of 2016, let’s now look forward and speculate about the good and bad things that may happen in 2017. I’m not pretending any of this is a forecast, particularly since economists have a miserable track record in that regard. Instead, the following […]

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The Flat Tax, Now More then Ever

On December 24, I wrote that all I wanted for Christmas is a spending cap. Alas, Santa did not manage to stuff that long-overdue policy down my chimney. But I’m not surprised. For years, the flat tax was on my Christmas list and that never happened either. I guess I must have been bad. Or […]

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Tax Rates, Itemized Deductions, and the Win-Win of Real Tax Reform

While the political world is consumed by the various scandals and baggage of the two main presidential candidates, let’s play a game of make-believe. Let’s pretend that politicians aren’t crooks and clowns and instead actually want to make America’s economy more vibrant and productive so the American people can enjoy higher living standards. What would […]

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Main Lesson from Tax Reform in Belgium? It’s Impossible to Have a Good Tax System and a Big Government

If nothing else, Belgian politicians deserve credit for perseverance. One year ago, the nation was considering a “tax shift” that would reduce taxes on labor and increase taxes on consumption. I pointed out that this didn’t make much sense since it wouldn’t alter the wedge between pre-tax income and post-tax consumption. In other words, the […]

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A Remarkably Good and Reasonably Bold Tax Reform Plan from House Republicans

I’ve been advocating for good tax reform for more than two decades, specifically agitating for a simple and fair flat tax. I get excited when politicians make bold proposals, such as many of the plans GOP presidential candidates proposed over the past year or so. But sometimes I wind up feeling deflated when there’s a […]

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The Healthcare Exclusion Is the Tax Code’s Most Harmful Loophole

What’s the worst loophole (properly defined) in the cluttered internal revenue code? I think the deduction for state and local taxes is very bad policy since it enables higher tax burdens in states such as California, New Jersey, and Illinois. The exemption for municipal bond interest is another misguided provision since it makes it easier […]

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A Primer on the Corporate Income Tax: Everything You Need to Know about Creating a Simple System that Taxes Income only One Time

My opinion on taxing corporate income varies with my mood. When I’m in a fiery-libertarian phase, I want to abolish taxes on corporate income for the simple reason that all income taxes should be eliminated. Heck, I would also eliminate October 3 from the calendar because that’s the awful day in 1913 that the income […]

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Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Payroll Taxes, and the Value-Added Tax

My views on the value-added tax are very simple and straightforward. If we completely eliminated all income-based taxes, I would be willing to accept a VAT (or even a national sales tax) as a revenue source for government. But unless that happens, I’m unalterably opposed because it’s far too risky to give politicians two major […]

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The Value-Added Tax Should Be Political Poison for Advocates of Limited Government

It’s not my role to pick sides in political fights, but I am very interested in trying to make bad ideas radioactive so that politicians won’t be tempted to do the wrong thing. This is why I’m a big fan of the no-tax-hike pledge. The folks in Washington salivate at the prospect of getting more […]

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With a Bold and Pure Flat Tax, Ben Carson Sets the Standard for Pro-Growth Reform

When I compared the tax reform proposals of various 2016 presidential candidates last month, Ben Carson got the best grade by a slight margin. But I’ve now decided to boost his overall grade from a B+ to A-, or perhaps even A, because he’s finally released details and that means his grade for “specificity” jumps […]

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Grading Tax Reform Plans

With all of the GOP presidential candidates proposing varying plans to reduce the tax burden and reform the tax system, I’m constantly asked which one is best. But that’s hard to answer because all of the proposals have features I like…as well as some features that leave me underwhelmed, or perhaps even worried. My fantasy […]

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Everything You Need to Know about Deductions, Loopholes, and Special-Interest Tax Provisions

Why does the tax code require more than 10,000,000 words and more than 75,000 pages? There are several reasons and none of them are good. But if you had to pick one cause for all the mess, it would be the fact that politicians have worked with interest groups and lobbyists to create myriad deductions, […]

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Two Small-Government Candidates Inadvertently Could Put America in a VAT of Trouble

Sometimes the best way to help the cause of freedom is to stop a bad idea. And that’s why I’m vociferously opposed to a value-added tax. Here’s what I wrote today for National Review. I start by explaining that it’s a bad idea to give Washington a big new tax to finance a larger burden […]

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The Kansas Tax Cuts Are Working, and that’s Why Statists Are Worried

I was in Montreal last week for a conference on tax competition, where I participated in a debate about whether the corporate income tax should be abolished with my crazy left-wing friend Richard Murphy. But I don’t want to write about that debate, both because I was asked to take a position I don’t really […]

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Debunking Fiscal Myths: There Is No Loophole for “Carried Interest”

I’m a big fan of the flat tax because a low tax rate and no double taxation will result in faster growth and more upward mobility. I also like the flat tax because it gets rid of all deductions, credits, exemptions, preferences, exclusions, and other distortions. And a loophole-free tax code would be a great […]

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