Author Archive | Daniel J Mitchell

Why Can’t We Fix The Tax Code?

While Americans struggle to comply with one of the world’s most complicated tax codes, it’s worth noting that about one-dozen nations have adopted simple and fair flat-tax systems. Hong Kong has had a flat tax for nearly 60 years, and has gone from being one of the poorest places on the planet to a first-class […]

Death Tax Should be Killed, Not Wounded

Small-business owners, farmers, investors and entrepreneurs face a good news-bad news quandary. The good news is that the death tax will disappear in 2010. If they die that year, their families will get their assets, not the IRS. The bad news is that this pernicious tax springs back to life in 2011, at the same […]

A Flat-Out Case for Tax Reform

If anything’s likely to boost support for the flat tax, it’s the annual nightmare of tax season. Imagine junking all the paperwork the current system requires and replacing it with two simple postcard-sized forms that tax income only once and at one low rate. Imagine a simple and fair tax system that required all Americans […]

Fixing a Broken Tax System with a Flat Tax

America’s complicated tax system needs a complete overhaul, not minor fixes. The large role that system plays in many of the political dramas dominating the daily headlines shows why. Republicans and Democrats, for instance, are fighting over the “outsourcing” of jobs to foreign countries. But instead of sniping at each other, they should look at […]

Slashing Tax Rates in Europe is Progressive

More than 20 years ago, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan triggered a world-wide revolution by dramatically slashing marginal income tax rates. In addition to rejuvenating the U.K. and U.S. economies, these supply-side tax cuts prodded other nations into implementing similar reforms. Thanks to “tax competition” between nations, top tax rates in developed nations — on […]

Bermuda: America’s Number One Enemy?

America’s number-one enemy isn’t Al Qaeda, Libya, North Korea or Cuba. It’s Bermuda! At least that’s what John Kerry seems to want American voters to believe. At almost every campaign stop, he attacks “Benedict Arnold corporations” that move to Bermuda. One could almost conclude that Bermuda is a predatory regime that shelters scoundrels. These irresponsible […]

Limit Lobbying By Cutting Government

In their view, the traditional Washington career path — a stint in government followed by a lucrative job lobbying former colleagues — is inherently corrupt. Both candidates propose restrictions, including limits on the ability of former government officials to function as lobbyists. Is this the right approach? To be sure, lobbyists aren’t the easiest group […]

Radical U.N. Tax Plans Threaten America

Many politicians seem to think that the answer to every alleged problem is higher taxes. Howard Dean, for instance, has said he would repeal the Bush tax cuts — even though this would boost the average family’s tax burden by nearly $2,000. This initiative sounds radical, and it is. But some proposals out there are […]

If a Flat Tax is Good for Iraq, How About America?

Few Americans would want to trade places with the people of Iraq. But come tax time next April, they may begin to wonder who’s better off. That’s because the Iraqis soon will enjoy something we don’t — a simple and fair tax system. Beginning in January, all Iraqis will pay a “flat tax” of 15 […]

Don’t Penalize Companies for Investing in America

Our tax code has many ridiculous features, but the booby prize may belong to a provision that discourages companies from investing profits in America and instead encourages them to keep money overseas. It’s a 35 percent tax penalty imposed on American companies that dare to take money they earn in other nations and plow it […]

The IRS Versus The Bill Of Rights

To get an idea of what it’s like to tangle with the IRS, imagine having to fight Mike Tyson — with both hands tied behind your back. The IRS is the most feared government agency, and with good reason. Americans who run afoul of this bureaucratic behemoth have little chance of surviving unscathed. In large […]

Helping America Compete

It would be easy to resent the World Trade Organization right now. Here we are, trying to get our economy to grow, and the WTO comes along and says the European Union gets to impose a $4 billion annual tax hike on American companies. This is because of a WTO ruling that claims U.S. tax […]

The Right Kind of Tax Cut

Listening to Washington policy-makers haggle over the size of President Bush’s proposed tax cut — $350 billion over the next decade? $550 billion? $726 billion? — you would think nothing matters much beyond the price tag. Just as important, though, is the type of tax cut they approve. Not all tax cuts are created equal. […]

Punish France by Enlarging American Freedom

Yes, folks, it finally happened. French President Jacques Chirac swallowed his pride and placed a let’s-be-friends-again phone call to President Bush. As well he should have. France’s behavior regarding Iraq has been despicable. In addition to providing Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime with valuable technology, the French government actively worked to sabotage our campaign against the […]

Russia’s Flat-Tax Miracle

It’s never fun to admit failure. But Russia’s 13 percent flat tax forces me to confess a certain degree of incompetence. For 10 years, I’ve been working in Washington to replace our convoluted tax code with a simple and fair flat tax. But as every taxpayer can attest, my efforts have not borne fruit. Yet […]

Nine Simple Guidelines for Pro-Growth Tax Policy

Economic growth occurs when people work more, save more, and invest more. These are the behaviors that increase national income and boost the nation’s wealth. People do not produce more simply because the government has a balanced budget. Nor do they increase their levels of work, saving, or investment just because the government gives them […]

Protecting Americans from Double Taxation

President George W. Bush has proposed that the double taxation of dividends be eliminated. Under his plan, businesses would continue to pay tax on corporate income, but individual stockholders no longer would have to pay a second layer of tax on that income when it is distributed in the form of dividends. This proposal is […]

In Defense of “Trade Deficits”

New Commerce Department data show that the United States set a record in 2002, importing $435 billion more than we exported. This trade “deficit” immediately generated howls of anguish. “A real downer,” said the president of the National Association of Manufacturers. The head of the AFL-CIO claims it’s “a catastrophe for working Americans who are […]

End the Double Taxation of Dividends

President Bush’s critics reacted in predictably uniform fashion to his latest economic proposal: Playing the class-warfare card. Good luck making that charge stick. America isn’t France. The politics of hate-and-envy doesn’t resonate here like it does in Europe. We want more freedom and opportunity. Consider the president’s call to end the double taxation of dividends, […]

Clinton-Era IRS Regulation Threatens Economy and Financial Markets

Three days before President Bill Clinton left office, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a regulation (No. 126100-00) that would have forced American banks to report the interest they pay on the deposits of nonresident aliens. The IRS openly admitted that the information collected would be forwarded to foreign governments and that the regulation was […]