Oregon “Sen. Ron Wyden,” reports the Washington Post, “has made it his mission to force Congress to rewrite the entire tax code.”
That would be good news, if Sen. Wyden weren’t a liberal Democrat.
But his plan, which he calls the Fair Flat Tax, is neither. It would eliminate some tax preferences but keep others, and it would potentially lower income taxes on middle-income wages while raising them on corporate and investment income.
But Sen. Wyden is right about one thing. America’s Byzantine tax system desperately needs reform. It is unwise; it destroys prosperity. It is unjust; it overturns the natural order that rewards industry and punishes sloth, is selectively applied law, and is so incomprehensible that honest citizens can’t be certain that they haven’t violated its tenets. And it is immoral; it creates perverse incentives and interferes with the private moral decision-making process.
Fortunately, it looks like reform might be coming. National Economic Council head Glenn Hubbard told the Post, “The president continues to believe very strongly that the current system is broken. It’s unfair. It’s way too complicated. … I am confident that given the right opportunity, it (tax revision) will become a priority for the president.”
Now what we need is a solid fiscal conservative to champion reform that is wise, just, and moral.