The Tax Break Myth: They're Not Really For the Middle Class - Josh Freedman - The Atlantic: " . . . While rhetoric about tax expenditures is bandied about, the actual effects get lost in the fray. Do tax expenditures (like home mortgage deductions) actually benefit the middle class? Or, put differently, are tax expenditures a "middle-class welfare state", as the Washington Post's Ezra Klein described them last year? The answer is: not as much as you might think. While there are differences between types of tax expenditures, most of the largest tax expenditures help a few people in the middle class a bit while helping wealthier Americans much more. The tax code may have become a type of middle-class welfare state, but in its current form is one of the most regressive and least efficient middle-class welfare states possible."
We would be better with complete tax reform--no deductions, a flat tax on all income above $15,000 per year, elimination of the employee's portion of the payroll tax, and an employer's "payroll tax" on actual gross payroll compensation (including within "compensation" all stock options and other transfers to employees by employers). Of course, I also favor individual, self-funded retirement accounts, and elimination/phase-out of ALL pensions and other retirement plans except, of course, Social Security, which should be broadened to cover everyone (many government employees are "exempt").
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