No. of Recommendations: 3
I'm not sure why or how you think your proposal will work.

No exemptions, deductions, write-downs or anything.

Except that assumes that the nation does not want to encourage or discourage certain kinds of financial behavior. While some people may not agree with many of the exemptions, deductions and write-downs in the tax code today, many were written into the code because there was a desire to encourage certain behaviors that were deemed better for the nation than alternative behaviors. For example, renewable energy tax incentives promote renewable energy usage. Mortgage deductions help promote home ownership. If you go in and remove those tax breaks today, you will undo the incentives, change the progress made to increase renewable energy sources and home ownership, and royally irritate people who just made a commitment to either of those things, at least in part, because of the tax advantages offered. The results of taking this kind of action could be fairly significant and unintended. If we can't count on our government to remove only those exemptions, deductions and write-downs that are not appropriate to what we would like to see incentivised today, how naive is it to assume that simply getting rid of all of them once would solve our problems long-term?

Trash that entire tax code. Replace it with a very simple system: Every individual is taxed by the same formula, scaled for income and adjusted for dependents; period. Every business is taxed by the same formula, scaled for revenue and adjusted for the number of employees; period.

Every individual today is taxed by the same formula. Similarly, every business today is taxed by the same formula. Both are very complex formulas to be sure, but it is still one formula defined by form 1040 will all accompanying schedules and forms that contribute to it. Since computers can do all the work of plugging numbers into the formula and computing a tax, I don't see how constraining the formula complexity helps much at all. What you are really talking about here is constraining the number of inputs to that formula. But that gets back to my previous paragraph.

And that will also eliminate the tax preparation surcharge!

Sure. Simple has the advantage of encouraging more people to do their own taxes. But simple isn't necessarily good. Here's simple: The average American pays about $10,500 in federal, state and local income taxes. So just make everyone pay $10,500. Of course, despite that being simple and insuring appropriate government funding levels, it is clearly stupid and won't work. Here's another simple plan: The average American pays 14% of their income in federal, state and local taxes so just make everyone pay 14%. Again, this is fairly simple. And though it might not be quite as stupid as the first simple plan, it is still stupid.

But I think the real argument against your proposal is that if you can't trust the government to do the right thing with the existing tax code, how does starting over help? And why would you trust them to start over?
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