Moxie wants to have a discussion on alternative tax methods. I thought that Steve Forbes' flat tax plan was a pretty good idea back in the day, but I changed my mind after I listened to Leonard Peikoff's interview with Bill Archer (The Leonard Peikoff Show, 06/17/96) and came to the conclusion that a retail sales tax is a better idea. Bruce Bartlett thinks that the flat tax makes a comeback. I wonder if the tax reforms in Slovakia could be implemented in other countries in Europe. For information on the situation in Sweden, read my post, TAX PRESSURE.
Thanks for the comments! I agree with Aaron that "Anything is better than the quagmire we have now" and I think that the consumption tax is the best way to go.
Brian Yoder correctly points out: "Unless the income tax is completely and permanently obliterated, we will end up with both a national sales tax and a national income tax and things will be worse than they are now." That is what happened in Sweden. The VAT started out as a temporary sales tax at a level of about 3% and is now 25% (20% off the total price) and a progressive income tax.
Moxie: Here is an excerpt from Edwin Feulner's article, Simplify the Tax Code with a Flat Tax:
"The income-tax system began in 1913 as a two-page form backed by 14 pages of law. Today, we struggle with 742 different forms and 254 separate publications, backed by more than 17,000 pages of law." [Capitalism Magazine, 12/04/02.]
I look forward to Tax Freedom Day! In Sweden you have to wait until August... (Click here for the PDF version.)