Check out Monday's Wall Street Journal editorial by Steve Forbes: One Simple Rate. Forbes continues championing radical reform of the travesty called our federal tax code.
The current system is beyond redemption, a beast whose complexity, confusion and outright unfairness have corrupted our economy and society. Americans waste more than $200 billion and over six billion hours each year filling out tax forms. They engage in all kinds of useless economic activity intended to take advantage of the code's complicated maze of deductions and to reduce taxes -- from deducting donations of old socks to making unwanted investments. The waste of brainpower -- at a time of increasing global competition -- is incalculable.
The code corrupts our system of government by encouraging the crassest political conduct and by creating a massive, intrusive federal bureaucracy. One-sixth of the private-sector employees in Washington are employed by the lobbying industry. One-half of their efforts are directed at wrangling changes in the tax code. Few people realize that our health-care system, with its runaway costs, is, in fact, the ultimate product of the tax-code distortion in our economy. And last, but most definitely not least, we simply pay too much in tax. When you take into account all the taxes, fees and tolls paid to the government, the typical American pays somewhere around half or more of his income in taxes. Why do we the people accept this? (One Simple Rate)
And what would be the result of the "radical" step of adopting a flat income tax? Forbes predicts it would would unleash an economic boom of historic proportions.
How would a flat tax do this? What so many "experts" can't grasp is that taxes are not only a means of raising revenue for governments but also a price and a burden. The tax you pay on income is the price you pay for working; the tax on profits is the price you pay for being successful, and the levy on capital gains is the price you pay for taking risks that work out. When you lower the price of good things, such as productive work, success and risktaking, you get more of them. The flat tax does that dramatically. (One Simple Rate)
I credit Forbes with my introduction to the flat tax concept and my father with the conviction of its importance (Note: My father is a CPA. I'd love to put him out of business! He'd love to see a flat tax as well.)
It's amazing how many nations are adopting a flat tax and how the "bastion of freedom," the ol' USA, has been stuck in the protectionist past. Let's hope that Utah can lead the nation in doing what's right by adopting a flat income tax!
Deseret Morning News: Forbes thinks flat-tax battle will go his way