Friday, November 12, 2004

Flat tax to end corporate lobbying: are you kidding me?

The usually very deliberate Andrew Sullivan argued a couple of days ago that one of the main reasons to favor a flat tax was that it would deal "a death blow to the cancer of corporate lobbying in Washington. If you restrict shelters to one or two (charity or home-ownership, but I'd abolish the latter), then the whole Washington game is over."

Say what?

Has Andrew somehow forgotten that the main piece of the lobbying game, one much bigger than the haggling over the tax code, is the part dealing with appropriations? As long as the government is spending money, there will always be lobbyists trying to get their clients a bigger of piece the pie.

2 comments:

rmockler said...

The tax code is a complicated balance of competing policy considerations. The problem with Sullivan's view is not only that lobbying efforts would scuttle any attempt to create a one line tax code, but also that making complicated value and policy judgments is -- and should be -- a complicated task.

Anonymous said...

There is also the little matter of accounting. The amount of tax must be based on something, sales, profits, gross recipts. Whatever that is opens a huge area for lobying because every accounting measure can be distorted to a greater or lessor degree.