We could save time, money and trouble with a flat tax. We could file our returns on a form the size of a postcard. And we would bring down marginal tax rates without causing revenues to fall because loopholes would be eliminated. (A faster-growing economy also would generate more tax revenue.)
That?s important, because, as my Heritage Foundation colleague Daniel Mitchell wrote recently, ?History tells us that tax revenues grow and wealthy taxpayers pay more tax when marginal tax rates are slashed. This means lower-income citizens bear a lower share of the tax burden?a consequence that should lead class-warfare politicians to support lower tax rates.? Simply put, a flat tax would be fairer.
Unfortunately, it?s probably not yet politically possible to enact a completely flat tax. Politicians have spent years attempting to use the tax code to engineer social policy, crafting deductions and credits for behavior they approve of. It?ll take some time to undo that damage. And after all, the presidential candidates in one of our political parties are actually pressing for higher, not lower, taxes.
Still, this year we should start taking steps toward a flat and fair tax system. When voters see how well it works, they?re sure to demand we make it permanent.