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Why replace the "reform?"

Posted By Donald Koop, Friday, March 2, 2018

Why replace a “brand new” income tax code?

Because it isn’t reform; it’s tinkering.  Congress pretty much adjusted all of the variables that have been built into the tax code over the decades.  The big one, corporate tax rates, went down this time.  So did personal tax rates, as usual in different amounts for different income levels.  Exemptions went up; deductions went down.  That’s how to “reform” a century-old tax code!

The so-called “reform” forced upon us was primarily a tax cut.  That’s good.  But an income tax isn’t the only format where taxes can be cut. 

Corporate taxes were cut to 21%.  That’s good.  People pay those taxes anyway, so it should have been reduced to 0%. 

A lot of complications were removed.  That’s good.  But a lot of complications remain.  Changes are still being made to counteract unintended outcomes, to make winners out of unintended losers and vice-versa.  The work of re-complicating it is already underway.

Unlike the recent result, we should have a system that is simple, fair, durable, fiscally responsible, and safe.  The “new” code is none of these.

In my next post I’ll suggest what should be the replacement.


The views expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Americans for Fair Taxation.

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John Roman II says...
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2018
Mr. Koop makes a very good point in this commentary. This "tinkering" with the tax code has resulted in over 10,000 changes made since Ronald Reagan's presidency.  Our reform brings a level of stability and consistency never before seen in tax reform legislation.
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