Taxes, taxes. Death and taxes. The two most inevitable occurrences in American life and one may soon be getting reformed. At a time when all things financial hang in the air, even Washington seems to be developing a sense of urgency about unavoidable issues.
Regardless of who winds up taking the White House a year from now, one thing seems clear. Tax reform is on everyone's mind and is [/embed] sure to be a crucial issue. Perhaps on his own, perhaps as an attempt to keep up with Herman Cain's growing popularity, Rick Perry has thrown his hat into the reform ring.
Perry's plan centers around an optional 20% flat-rate income tax and a spending cap at 18% of GDP. Though many are not fans of Perry's lackluster debate methods, it is pretty hard to argue with the economic health of his home state. Even though New York and California have largely formed the political mindset of America for the last half-century, Texas has long been kicking their coastal asses in the prosperity department. Local taxation attitudes and policies are a huge factor in that equation.
Please don't twist this into a presidential or Republican nomination debate. I know that a lot of Perry's editorial is mired in party politics, but I honestly think that taxes should be exempt from a politically oriented discussion. Ideally, I would like to expand on the tax debate [/embed] we began here.
Clearly, many of the economic issues we face today are rooted in attitudes and policies towards taxation. I cannot say for sure whether Perry's ideas would translate to success, but I am absolutely certain of one thing...
For the first time in my life, our ancient, overweight, overcomplicated tax code is being addressed with an eye towards reform. That doesn't mean that it will change overnight, but the fact that actual front line politicians are talking about it, is very exciting.
I am still not clear as to how Mr. Perry plans to "save up to $483 billion in compliance costs" but seeing the free market competition of ideas come to politics is pretty damn cool.
Let's hope it continues and that each candidate's desire for victory leads to a balanced budget and a sturdy economy sometime in the near future.