Glenn Reynolds has a great little opinion piece at USA Today where he lays out some conservative ideas for tax reform. I agree with most of what he says, and I think that this is something that we should be talking about. If everyone had to pay some federal income tax, even a minimal amount like 2%-5%, then they'd have skin in the game. It really doesn't matter how much or how little a person pays, what matters is that they're participating. He's also got another great idea, tying federal tax levels to federal spending.
I'd like to see a system where everyone pays some minimum amount of tax — enough to notice, say 2%-5% of gross income. And that amount should go up noticeably when the federal government spends more, and go down noticeably when it spends less.
In a given year, that might only affect some individuals by a few hundred dollars, but as anyone who has followed local-government property tax fights knows, people can get pretty exercised over a few hundred dollars when they know it's coming out of their pocket and not someone else's.I'd also like to close the government service-private sector loophole. If someone is appointed or elected to a federal position, then after they leave government service everything they make over $125,000 should be taxed at a 100% rate for five years. That would stop folks from parlaying government service into lucrative private sector jobs.
We really need to talk about some sort of plan like this.