The United States' Tax System and Flat Tax Essay

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The United States' Tax System and Flat Tax The United States tax system is in complete disarray. Republicans and Democrats agree that the current tax code is complex, unfair, and costly. The income tax system is so complex; the IRS publishes 480 tax forms and 280 forms to explain the 480 forms (Armey 1). The main reason the tax system is so complex is because of the special preferences such as deductions and tax credits. Complexity in the current tax system forces Americans to spend 5.4 billion hours complying with the tax code, which is more time than it takes to manufacture every car, truck and van produced in the United States (Armey 1). Time is not the only thing that is lost with the current tax system; Americans also lose…show more content…
The American people are in the presence of the highest tax burden in American history; taxes represent a larger share of the U.S. economy than ever before (Armey 2). After World War II, the average family sent only about three percent of its income to Washington. The same family today gives 24 percent of its income to the federal tax collector (Mitchell 1, 9). Once state and local taxes are added to the federal take, taxes make up the biggest slice of the average family's budget. As Daniel Mitchell of the Heritage Foundation shows in Figure 1, the typical American family now pays more of its budget in taxes than it spends on food, clothing, transportation and shelter combined (Mitchell 1, 10). Policy makers have introduced a solution to the staggering proportion of taxes that Americans spend. The flat tax, based on an idea developed by Professors Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka of Stanford University to create a fair, simple, and pro-growth tax system (Mitchell 1, 11). There are four basic criteria that make up a flat tax. First is a single low rate on taxable income, the baseline for taxable income would be raised to a certain amount dictated by a personal exemption. Second is simplicity, all Americans would fill out the same postcard-sized form to pay their taxes. Third is the reduction or elimination of deductions, credits, and exemptions, depending

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