Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tax Simplification

I'm not sure I agree with this article by Thomas DiLorenzo. One of the biggest problems I have with things like tax deductions and credits is that they promote rent-seeking behavior. All sorts of various interest groups will try to fight for privileges if they think that they can get privilege from the state. Now there are practical arguments for a complex tax system in that they could encourage economically positive behavior, for example, deductions for home owners could lead to more people buying houses. Oddly enough, I don't think DiLorenzo even uses that argument for our current system. By the way, why does he repeatedly dismiss people who disagree with him as "egalitarians" and "socialists" , that's pretty sad in my opinion.

Update: Isn't it amazing that almost as soon as I posted this Catallarchy made a similar one? Damn!

Update 2: Tyler Cowen on the issue: "All tax systems are too complicated, and moves toward simplification are rarely a mistake."