In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal George P. Schultz proposes four steps “to get America moving again”. They are:
- A resest on the personal income tax system with fewer, lower deductions, i.e. “loopholes”, and lower marginal rates.
- Bringing the corporate income tax into line with prevailing international practices.
- Streamlining the regulatory system.
- Putting the Federal Reserve on a rules-based regime.
His proposals remind me strongly of the column I wrote about a couple of days ago. You’d think his proposals were commonsensical and would attract bipartisan support but, alas, no.
As a group they are proposals that might attract Republican support, indeed might even be a Republican wish-list, but would be castigated by many Democrats as helping the rich, corporations, unleashing poisons on the American people, and snake oil.
We are long overdue for an overhaul of our personal income tax system. Tax systems are like ships. They leave the boatyard bright, shiny, and slick but after many years are covered with barnacles that slow progress to a crawl. You would think that corporate “inversions” would spur action. I mean action other than insisting on loyalty oaths as, for example, getting into line with the corporate tax laws of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany just to name a few.
I have been proposing simplification of our regulatory system for decades. Federal regulations alone run to nearly a quarter of a million pages while state and local regulations contribute probably ten times as many. The upshot of that is that nobody understands our system of regulations. Asserting that simplification is impossible or undesireable is absurd on its face.
And, of course, with a rules-based regime there would be little need for a Federal Reserve board. I can hear the howls of protest from here.
Go ahead, Congress! It’s chocolate-flavored.