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Presidential Issues: Taxes


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What the Ideal Tax Code Looks Like

December 15, 2015

By Jason Fichtner and Jacob Feldman

Tax reform is a hot topic in Washington, D.C. But luckily, policymakers need not fly blind when it comes to defining the principles key to a successful revenue system.

The most basic goal of tax policy is to raise enough revenue to meet the government's spending requirements in the way that has the least impact on the economy. Academic research suggests that, to meet this goal, a successful system should be simple, equitable, permanent, and predictable.

The U.S. tax code does not live up to these standards. In fact, while most developed countries have lowered their corporate tax rates and restructured their tax systems to make them simpler, the United States appears to be taking the opposite approach. The current tax code distorts market decisions and hampers job creation, reducing both economic growth and tax revenue.

The statutory corporate tax rate in the United States is the highest in the industrial world — a factor that encourages businesses to move to lower-tax countries, taking jobs, money, and tax dollars with them. The costs of tax compliance in the U.S., meanwhile, may be nearly a trillion dollars annually, including accounting costs, economic losses, and lobbying expenditures.

Read the full article at RealClearPolicy.com: What the Ideal Tax Code Looks Like

Issue Categories : Taxes,