The Flat Tax – Is It Really All Bad?

May 30, 2010

A few days ago, Craig examined the Fair Tax which is a tax system based largely on sales tax. Today, I will examine the pros and cons of the Flat Tax which is a tax system based on income taxes with everyone paying the same rate. Because everyone pays the same flat rate and loopholes are eliminated in the process, everyone pays in and everyone pays less than they do under the current system. Estimates often suggest a tax rate of 10-15%. Compare that to current rates.

Often, it is rejected out of hand as a regressive tax. At one time, I too recited the usual talking points on the issue. But after examining the issue during my undergraduate career, I began seeing it in a different light. And in recent years, a few liberal economists (a tiny minority) have begun to soften their position on the issue. The fact is that people would pay the same rate so by definition it is not a regressive tax. A regressive tax is one where those with lower incomes pay relatively more. Under a Flat Tax system, everyone would pay the same.

Today, we are locked into a system that has been rigged for the wealthy and corporations. Credits and loopholes exist for everything imaginable. As a result, of this and recent reductions in tax rates for the wealthy, the lower and middle income earners have picked up the slack through increased property taxes, sales taxes, and various other taxes and fees.

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