Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Taxes and Tea Parties
My Columbia College classmate, Senator Judd Gregg has partnered with Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden to propose a simplified tax system, with three marginal brackets, a unified deduction, and elimination of the alternative minimum tax. The current tax system, which creates work for accounting firms, CPA's, lawyers and estate planners is fundamentally undemocratic in that a fraction of one percent of the population can explain how what they pay is related to what they earn. The journey from one amount to the other goes through the miasma of exclusions, ceilings, deductions, and finally the absurd alternative minimum tax.A citizen should be able to fill out a return on one page without having a Ph.D. in taxation or a J.D. Bravo to a bipartisan proposal that is relatively simple, reasonable and a meaningful improvement on what we have. We don't need to reinvent the wheel by having another Commission. Unlike reform of financial regulation, here's hoping that this proposal gains momentum. Instead of the unfocused ire of the Tea Party group, this proposal could provide something meaningful to our democractic body politic.