Well, I'm staring to collect some of my stranger ideas here, so that maybe I can share them with some of the rest of the world and hopefully simplify it a little bit.

I'll start out with a little table of contents in case this ever gets very big. (Doubtful)...


Tax Reform - Simplicity in Design

Well this one is rather simple.  Politicians are continually complaining about the heavy tax burden placed upon the middle class, and the problems this creates for a middle class, yet the changes they make to the tax system seem to be minor tweaks that don't significantly change things (except possibly to complicate them unnecessarily)

Taxes are supposed to be simply things that give the government the money it requires to do things we want it to do.  Well, why then do we have a system that is horribly complex, has spawned a massive collection of accountants and tax lawyers to deal with it, and and unbelievably huge agency known as the Treasury Department?  (Or, the real problem:  the Internal Revenue Service)

My proposal is really quite simple.  (Note that the numbers in this proposal are just thrown out there for the hell of it, they will probably need tuning to actually work, but I'll get the concepts across)

It's a given that families need a certain amount of money so that they can live through the year.  So, let's take that amount of money, and make it absolutely tax free.  (Well, income tax free).  I've wandered between the first $20,000 and the first $50,000 in my thoughts, but somewhere in this range would be a good number to work with.  This has the advantage of giving students the tax break they need to get through school, and poor families the opportunities to get back on their feet without dealing with burdensome taxes.

Now, after that first block of money is earned, we need to make up for the taxes we're losing somewhere.  So we take a respectable (and somewhat high) percentage of what's left.  Somewhere between 30% and 50% is probably right for this.  Everything not exempted above is taxed at this rate.  Flat rate, no graduations, limited deductiosn.  (Remember, the goal here is to simplify the tax system.)

My gut feeling is that this will benefit the majority of the people that truly need a benefit from a tax relief, and will simplify the tax system enough that the armies of tax lawyers and accountants could  find jobs that actually benefit society.

Crazy?   Maybe - e-mail me comments please, I'm interested to hear if I've made any sense (cents? :-) ) here at all.   Actually, I could use some solid figures to help develop this model.  If you have any, or if you develop some figures, please let me know (I can deal with several different spreadsheets if you want) and I'll post them here with appropriate credits.