Be Happy With the Tax System We Have
Posted at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2012
Felix Salmon argues that the “fiscal cliff” negotiations are unlikely to result in a fundamental overhaul of the tax code, nor should we want it to.
“There are lots of things that in an ideal world virtually everybody would like to see the end of; the mortgage-interest tax deduction is only the most obvious… What’s more, it’s incredibly difficult to get anything brand-new into the mix… But the point is that we’re not starting from scratch, which means that according to the rules of politics, we basically have to go to work only with the tools we have.”
“We have a smoothly-functioning machine, with tax rates which can be adjusted quite easily. Adding new gears to the machine — a carbon tax, for instance — might make sense in theory, although it’s hard. But dismantling the machine entirely and rebuilding something brand new? That is a very bad idea indeed.”