Where to start? We could broaden the base in thousands of ways. Here are two centrist tax raisers that are lots of people would agree to, and that are easy to understand. (Though not so easy to implement.)
First, we could stop letting multinational corporations make a mockery of the tax system. Take away U.S. corporations’ “deferral” incentive to operate abroad – and to their ability to claim that have more income came from abroad than they really do. And tighten our rules to hammer runaway (expatriating) corporations – past, present, and future. Or impose worldwide unitary taxation on all multinationals like may states did before the Federal Government stopped them. In any event, why give U.S. based multinationals a “repatriation holiday” for income they’ve already shifted and stashed offshore? That makes me laugh. Eventually, a VAT would tax these dodgers better than a corporate income tax.
Second, we could tax marijuana — if we can’t sell it through monopolies. Marijuana should not belong in the same category as PCP and heroin. Legalization requires finding a middle ground, and tax is a tool you can adjust and tinker with to get there. Here’s how to start. I feel like the people of the United States of America have the sense and the gumption to fix this. Marijuana revenue seems like what Congressional tax staff used to call “underbrush” — minor measures that Members could agree on as they worked on tougher issues, like capital gains in the 1986 Tax Reform Act.
, we can at least laugh at folks defending an indefensible position. You don’t need to watch the whole thing to get the idea:
Centrist tax ideas don’t stop there. How about, for instance, indexing capital gains for inflation?