by John Hawkins | November 12, 2004 6:30 am
Question: “Do you think we could see a flat tax implemented under President Bush and if not do you think we’ll ever be able to reform our current tax system.” — nolan1286
Answer: There are a number of roadblocks in the way of turning a flat tax into reality. Here are some of them in brief:
1) Although a lot of flat tax advocates say otherwise & our byzantine tax system makes it a little difficult to come up with exact numbers, it’s very likely that some poor and middle class Americans would have to pay more under a flat tax system.
2) The American people are — and correctly — very suspicious of radical change in how our country operates. The very fact that we’d be changing our tax code from progressive to flat would lead to a significant slice of Americans opposing it out of hand just because it’s a big shift in how we do things.
3) A lot of people believe a progressive tax system is fairer than a flat tax system and they’ll oppose a change for that reason.
4) Class warfare resonates with a lot of Americans and they’re going to be opposed to what they view as a significant tax cut for the rich.
None of those problems are impossible to overcome, but to get a flat tax through Congress today would be a very difficult proposition. That’s why I think Bush will probably have to try for half a loaf and go for a Reaganesque flattening and simplification of the tax system…
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