Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tax Reform Panel

I was looking at the website of the President's Tax Reform Panel and found that its mission has contradictory goals. If you scroll down to the bottom of the homepage you will find the following goals:

# simplify Federal tax laws to reduce the costs and administrative burdens of compliance with such laws;
# share the burdens and benefits of the Federal tax structure in an appropriately progressive manner while recognizing the importance of homeownership and charity in American society; and
# promote long-run economic growth and job creation, and better encourage work effort, saving, and investment, so as to strengthen the competitiveness of the United States in the global marketplace

Goals one and two contradict each other. How can you have an simple tax system and, at the same time, have tax codes that are biased toward homeownership and charity. Also, goals two and three contradict each other. You can't "promote...saving, and investment" and, at the same time, punish savings by having a tax structure with a "progressive manner".