1. There really are very few “loopholes” in the tax code. Almost everything in there is to deal with unique situations to make taxes fair. It’s complicated because it has to handle every possible situation. If you start stripping out all those regulations, you will make some perfectly fine activities economically unfeasible with huge damage to the economy.

    But there are a few, like the tax treatment of hedge fund managers income as capital gains. Of course, Republicans are very unlikely to fix that!

    • It’s highly arguable that they’re fair. After all, renters are generally poorer than homeowners [citation needed] so why should homeowners get a tax break (and a big one!) while the poorer people don’t (while their landlords do!).

      And there’s paragraphs after paragraphs about how ministers should report their income in even the more simplified tax forms.

      Tax deductions are pretty much an incentive for someone to do something, and it’s often questionable whether they would have done so anyhow, and so don’t need the tax break, are sufficiently wealthy already so don’t need the tax break, &c. It’s a lot more about politics than it is about justice.

      The other problem is that every deduction is someone’s pet, and they’ll fight like cornered rats to keep it, whether it’s justified (or even justifiable) or not.

      “When in doubt, follow the money” is an old maxim [citation needed], and I’d have to say that those with the most resources to defend their tax “loopholes” are also those who most need their “loopholes” closed, and are those least likely to suffer it (and even if it was, they’d hardly “suffer” – At a billion bucks a year, it’s hard to imagine they’d be turned out on the streets even if they paid 90% taxes on it – That’s still a hundred million dollars left to buy houses, yachts, bugattis, mistresses, and so on).

      No, it’s not going to ‘trickle down’. Tax cuts in the USA are asinine. The sooner everyone understands that, the better.


  2. Get this straight: Whenever ANYONE is talking about “Tax Reform” all they are saying, no matter how much wind they put into it, all they are saying is “Cut taxes on me and my friends.” That’s all. Whenever you hear a pundit blathering on about tax reform, flat taxes, corporate rates, holidays for repatriation, et cetera, just mentally replace it with “Cut taxes on me and my friends”. And you’re done.

    Doug Thompson knows a bit about backlash against the mortgage interest deduction. This might be a good time for him to chime in.

    And if you really wanted to eliminate exemptions, try taxing churches (property and income. Why should they use infrastructure just like me without paying for it?). See what THAT does to a) your budget and b) your constituents… The profit might be well worth the fury.


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