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« Economic development panel | Main | TWC vs Network Neutrality »

Apr 15, 2009

Comments

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Roch101

If only the fair tax wasn't in the domain of the kooks. It is a good idea worthy of serious consideration, handicapped because its most visible supporters are hacks.

cheripickr

Try to look past that, Roch. If it's a good idea, it's a good idea. I am heartened to hear, for the first time, a liberal acknowledge that it has some merit.

Roch101

I am not a liberal or a Democrat. I am registered as unaffiliated and consider myself a pragmatic progressive, a term, despite what others would say, has some distinctions between it and liberal. And I do think the fair tax is a good idea on its merits, my comment was simply to say that I don't think it is going to get any serious traction because of its most visible supporters.

winstongator

I'm a liberal democrat and would like to see our tax code simplified. Social security taxes have good compliance and you never compute anything for them, but they're regressive. Tweak the social security tax configuration- don't tax the first $40k of income instead of only the first $107k - and flat rate from that up to infinity. How corporate taxes would get addressed is equally important.

Most deductions only benefit high earners, the benefits are skewed towards the highest, and they create poor incentives - the mortgage interest deduction does not promote home ownership, it promotes larger mortgages and payments skewed towards interest.

I get paid to work with numbers but finally broke down and used turbo tax last year. I also made a semi-major error on one return - deducted all of my wife's medical school tuition, instead of just the $3k or so limit. I got a nice form letter informing me of my error and showing me my disappointing readjusted return amount.

Kim

John Linder claims that the GAO says the fair tax would eliminate over $700 billion in "loopholes" per year.

cheripickr

"I get paid to work with numbers but finally broke down and used turbo tax last year."
Don't know what you do for a living but interesting to me to hear that. I have no background in finance, accounting, economics, tax, whatsoever (no surprise I'm sure) but have never used an accountant and took the leap of faith to Turbotax a long time ago. I have no f---ing idea what I'm doing, but so far.... Is that crazy? i'd sure rather pay my debt at the cash register.

Ed Cone

I use TurboTax. I found the Will Rogers quote in the post to be right on the money.

winstongator

It wasn't a leap of faith, but of grudginly giving up the $50 or so for the software. I used to use paper & pencil and mail my forms in.

I think any move to a consumption based tax would be phased-in, as many of the deductions would be phased-out. I also think a transaction tax on financial instruments should be used instead of taxing only gains, but no radical changes are coming anytime soon.

newtogso

I used turbo tax until I couldn't and a qualified cpa turned my math which showed a $400 payment to the government into a $2400 return. I now leave the dirty work to a CPA....which didn't fail me this year either.

cheripickr

That's scary and I wish you hadn't told me. I will soothe myself with the probably mistaken assumption that that was an exceptional anecdote.

cheripickr

I guarantee the Fair Tax will never happen. It’s too inherently simple and transparent and would take too much control away from the government and give it back to the people. It would also effectively eliminate taxation as a medium for politicians to foment class envy and warfare. If I am wrong it will be the most pleasant policy surprise of my life.

Kim

You are right CP. It is all about power-and relinquishing it.

Ed Cone

Who has the power? Read David Cay Johnston's book, Perfectly Legal, about the way the tax code benefits the very rich. And of course there's huge industry thrives on the status quo.

Obama says change is coming. I'll believe it when I see it.

Kim

It's "The Golden Rule". He who has the gold, makes the rules. And they have access.

Spag

Roch, what is the difference between a "liberal" and "pragmatic progressive"?

cheripickr

There are three types of people who disagre with conservatives 95% of the time.
1) liberals
2.) liberals disguised as pragmatists, and
3.) true pragmatists who just happen to disagree with conservatives 95% of the time.

Spag

CP, how many conservatives do you know who deny they are really conservatives?

cheripicker

None. I've always found that stark contrast in proudly embracing one's beliefs without fear of being labelled very revealing.

Spag

Me too. I wonder why so many liberals are ashamed of admitting who they are and what they really believe.

Roch101

Looks like you and CP have it all figured out, Sam. Carry on.

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