Democrats say the only way to balance budgets is to make sure rich people pay their fair share. Republicans rightly note that wealthy families already carry a disproportionate share of the tax burden, buts they can simultaneously agree with the Democratic goal: no one wants millionaires or successful corporations to escape paying taxes. But you can’t achieve that goal simply by raising tax rates. If a wealthy individual manages to dodge tax obligations when the top rate’s 35 percent, he’ll still avoid taxes if the rates rise to 40 or even 60 percent.
What’s really needed is cutting special exemptions, loop-holes and tax shelters—radically simplifying a ridiculously complicated system while lowering all rates, just as the president’s own deficit commission recommended.
Eliminating special breaks for privileged companies and selected taxpayers will both raise revenue, and save countless hours now wasted in tax compliance and avoidance.