GREGG: 'Convoluted' and 'chaotic' tax code in dire need of reform
By Judd Gregg - 03/07/11 06:07 AM ET
Show me a good tax law and I’ll show you a vibrant country that is productive, resilient and full of opportunity.
There are a couple of primary reasons for this.
First, people tend to have as their most important concern their own well-being. Besides providing food and healthcare and protecting oneself and family from harm, right up near the top of the list is making enough money to afford all the things on the list.
This is to not say that people, especially Americans, are selfish. They are not. We are the most giving and altruistic culture in the world. But it is difficult to be generous if you have not cared for yourself and your family first. Thus, having a good job that produces a decent income becomes uniquely important for most Americans.
Not having that income subject to misguided tax policies is an important part of making people feel more confident about their government, which leads to a stronger, more generous and successful nation.
The second reason a good tax policy leads to a better, more resilient nation is less obvious but no less motivational. All jobs are arguably created either in or by private activity. There are millions of public or quasi-public jobs, of course. But unless someone pays part of their earnings or income to the government, there would be no government jobs.
Someone in a society needs to be productive in the private sector if a government is to function. And productivity is tied to tax policy.
Bad tax policy means less productivity. Good tax policy means more productivity, more jobs, more revenue and, most likely as a result, more government. So everyone should be for a tax policy that encourages private enterprise, even liberals who like more government.
Unfortunately, America’s tax policy is a disaster. It is excessive, convoluted, chaotic, counter-intuitive and a general mess.