The Billy Mays of tax policy

June 4, 2008

Yeah. He’s back. And I think I’m in love. Is it his common sense presentation about the benefits of a flat tax? (I’d like to see his GDP) Is it his abrasive voice? Or maybe I just need to admit that I have a tie fetish.

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4 Responses to “The Billy Mays of tax policy”

  1. Quakerjono Says:

    No…just…no.

  2. John in IL Says:

    What? Did I defame Billy Mays?

  3. superdave524 Says:

    Mongolia, John? We want to follow the tax policies of Mongolia? (Actually, a fairly enforced flat tax might not be a bad idea. I suspect that the richest folks are generally able to take advantage of many exemptions and deductions to reduce their overall payments enough that they end up paying a fairly small percentage of their income in taxes, regardless of the actual rate. Certainly they can afford better accountants than I can!).

  4. John in IL Says:

    For me it doesn’t even have to be a flat tax. Any simplified progressive rate income tax with a limit (or elimination) on deductions (the big ones being mortgage interest and chartitable contributions) would be an huge improvement.

    And you are so right when you talk about the richest paying pretty much the same amount, no matter what the rate is. For example: In 1979, the top marginal tax rate on ordinary income was 70% and the top rate on capital gains was 28%. The effective tax rate (the percentage of income paid in taxes) for the top 10% of income earners was 17.4%. In 2005, with a top rate of 35% for ordinary income and 15% for capital gains, their effective income tax rate was 16%. So a nearly 50% drop in marginal rates reduced their effective rate by less than 2%.


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