Finally, someone figures out that tax policy is actually sexy!
One of the great insights into tax policy (and other, um, policy) is that, while size matters some, deft placement and sensitive feedback matter at least as much.
One of the analogies most telling is this one:
A horse that can easily carry a 200 pound weight on its back is made pretty much immobile by moving that same 200 pound weight to its leg.
Our taxes typically tend to be like the latter: we tax the things we claim to want more of (labor and investment) and then, because those taxes tend to diminish what we want, we then try to apply tax revenues to boost them back up again.
Essentially, tax policy in America is (to shift metaphors for a moment) this: stomp on the brakes and the gas as hard as we can, at the same time.
Or whip the horse as hard as we can, while pulling back on the reins with all our might.
Kinky. And stupid.
We’d all enjoy taxation a lot more if we taxed what we don’t want (consumption of nonrenewable resources, release of toxins into the environment) and stopped taxing what we do want (jobs, investments in things that don’t produce toxins or consume nonrenewable resources, etc.).