By Arnold Kling
Bruce Bartlett writes that we have met the enemy and he is us.
If people really want simplicity, it can be done. But my experience is that when push comes to shove, people would rather have complexity and keep whatever tax provisions benefit them. In the end, the demand for true simplicity always ends up being a mile wide and an inch deep.
I think that the problem is that K street lobbyists are an inch wide and a mile deep. They are the beneficiaries of the complexity of the tax code. Although Bartlett may be correct that there is no groundswell in favor of tax simplification, I think that the constituencies for tax loopholes are not as strong as K Street represents them to be. My guess is that most Congressmen could vote to kill the so-called sacred cow loopholes without being voted out of office.
For Discussion. Would it be feasible to phase out the mortgage interest deduction, or would that be politically impossible?