“Fair Flat Tax” is Neither
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has made it his mission to force Congress to rewrite the entire tax code. If he succeeds, every interest in town would take one side or the other in what would be the biggest legislative battle in years.
Last November, a presidential advisory panel headed by former senators Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and John Breaux (D-La.) recommended that Congress lower tax rates, reduce paperwork, and pare back or eliminate most tax breaks, including popular deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance.
Wyden’s plan would also end many individual tax advantages but, in contrast to the panel’s proposal, would keep many of the code’s most popular preferences, including the home-mortgage and health-savings deductions. Wyden’s Fair Flat Tax Act would lower taxes for millions of middle-income families, in part by raising taxes on some corporations and also on wealthy people with significant investment income — which the president would likely oppose.
So Wyden wants to soak the rich, and his tax is far from flat. I think this is another failure of “truth in advertising” when it comes to congressional legislation.
Obviously to anyone who’s been here a while, I’m a big fan of the FairTax. That notwithstanding, though, it really sounds like Wyden is proposing a tax that has only the most popular exemptions included. While that may be politically expeidient, it’s not fair, nor is it flat. It’s probably a good proposal, and if he didn’t call it the “Fair Flat Tax”, jumping on the name recognition of the two most popular tax reform proposals before him, I might like it.
But the “Fair Flat Tax”. How’s the Holy Roman Empire doing these days?