You’re troubled that Donald Trump ‘could have’ paid no taxes for 18 years. Can I then infer …

… that you support a flatter, fairer tax plan? A tax plan that closes many of the provisions of the tax code that a real estate developer would call ‘encouraging a public/private partnership’ but you call ‘loopholes’?

Because such plans exist. Here’s one. Here’s another.

Hillary Clinton says she plans to pay for new programs by targeting the top 1% of taxpayers. I think she’s disingenuous, but no matter. It won’t work, simply because people who are in that top 1% would rather pay an army of lawyers, CPAs and lobbyists rather than pay top rate on their full income. Hillary assumes they would sit still and pony up their fair share, but they never have before and they’re not about to start just because Hill is in the W. House.

Back in the olden days (1981) the tax code was broken. Tax rates (>70%) that were designed to be punitive to ‘the rich’ encouraged drilling dry holes for the write-off, building rail cars to sit empty on the sidings, and investing in bull semen when there weren’t even any bulls. Of course, setting up these tax shelter kept legions of lawyers and accountants busy, but no value was created.

Reagan dropped the top tax rate to 28%, if memory serves, and closed the loopholes that encouraged non-productive activity. Tax shelters shuttered overnight. The economy boomed. (Yes, gov’t deficits grew. Reagan never had a Republican Congress.)

A complex tax code empowers the political class. It gives politicians levers to push and pull and it makes lobbying and influence-buying/selling smart business. Just ask Mr. Trump. Then ask all those investment bankers and corporate sleazeballs who paid $250 K for a 20-minute speech.

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