I’m continuing to weed through my archived stack – came across this one regarding the tax code.
I’ve always been suspicious of those folks who try and use the tax code too achieve some sort of social change. For example, we can raise taxes on the wealthier folks and then lower taxes on the less wealthier in an attempt to more evenly distribute wealth.
I think that’s bad policy – for two reasons. One, we’ll never get it right, two, the whole process is wide open to corruption and three (okay – three), it is simply not okay for people to vote to steal money from one man to give to another.
Turns out I am not alone in my thinking:
President Obama believes the federal tax code should bolster the middle class and make the rich pay their fair share. I have a different view: The tax code should make no attempt to differentiate rich from middle-income taxpayers, nor should it attempt to redistribute wealth to middle-income taxpayers.
Right – exactly. But can the government do anything?
Yes – undo what it’s already done!
Big banks, for example, earn undeserved profits because they are protected by too-big-to-fail policies along with myriad regulations that limit competition in financial services. Doctors and lawyers, too, make higher incomes than their talents alone would warrant because government licensing restricts entry and competition. Scientists and engineers earn excessive incomes because our misguided restrictions on high-skill immigration (the H1-B visa quota) exclude talented foreigners.
Sugar barons get rich because of government-imposed import quotas. Ethanol producers cash in because the government mandates the use of their product. The military industrial complex profits from government-facilitated sales to authoritarian regimes around the world.
In short, instead of making the tax code more complicated by implementing more redistribution, the president and Congress should stop redistributing wealth altogether. Then we can have a truly simplified tax code.