November 19th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Zakaria: How to fix the tax code

"Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

By Fareed Zakaria

Now that President Obama has won re-election, the debate in Washington has shifted from whether we should raise taxes, to how and by how much. This makes sense – with a deficit over a trillion dollars, we will need a combination of increased tax revenues and spending cuts.

The president and his allies, including Robert Rubin, have made the case that eliminating deductions simply will not get you enough money – you will actually have to raise tax rates. That’s probably true as well. But let’s not give up entirely on the issue of deductions and all those other hidden subsidies that the Simpson-Bowles report accurately called “backdoor spending hidden in the tax code.”

Watch the video for the full Take.

Post by:
Topics: Economy

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. joe anon 1

    response to the hysterical and deceiving howard kurtz who's program follows yours.

    you only mentioned the nyt with jewish ownership in response to murdoch's nonsensical blather.
    you somehow forgot wapost. you did mention viacom but indicated not jewish owned. you forget sumner redstone.
    is ben gurion's relative , moonves, still ceo of cbs corp.disney's ceo, iger, is jewish.

    howard kurtz is a liar.

    November 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  2. GOPtard

    The GOP solution: Tax cuts for the rich to create jobs in India and China. Tax cuts for the rich to increase spending on the military. Tax cuts for the rich to increase spending on infrastructure. Tax cuts for the rich to increase spending on research. Tax cuts for the rich to increase spending on education. Tax cuts for the rich to increase spending on citizens' well being. Tax cuts for the rich to fund............MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • DemFromSC

      And that's why the Republicans lost so badly in the election! The (majority of) voters finally figured out that the Republicans are the party of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • Pendy

        @DemFromSC – "Republicans are the party of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich." You mean like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, David Geffen, Barbra Streisand, John Kerry, etc.?

        November 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • ohctshirts

        Ditto! and Cosign all that your said DemFrom SC. My goodness most American's are working so hard to make ends meat. Just to be able to put food on the table for our kids. Can't we get a break ever?!! Does our vote and voice still not count for something? Im a nurse and in the past 12 years I have not seen my income or social- economic status rise and I have what people deem to be a good education with a good job. Yet my taxes have risen while they cosistently fall for the rich 1 or 2%. The American economy is stagnent like the republican party. It is time to move this country forward. And give the working class a tax break.

        November 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Why can't Washington hire a team of specialists to rewrite the tax code? It has to be done once and for all. It's no good to – always – leave it to the next generation.

        November 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • StanCalif

        Romney's campaign was all about protecting the rich, until his 47% comments made the news. Suddenly he changed
        course (another flip flop)! The people wisely determined that a big liar (like George W) should not be president!

        November 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
      • Dain

        Just as an fyi, the average net worth of members in the house and senate is $7.6M per. Dems and Republicans. If you want to be a millionaire run for office. 70% of our representatives leave office worth far more than when they went in.

        November 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • phearis

      What amazes me is that Poor and Under-Educated people always vote Republican but Republicans in DC don't give a damn about anyone who doesn't make $200,000 or more.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • Pendy

        @phearis -"Poor and Under-Educated people always vote Republican" What are you smoking? Inner city overwhelmingly, if not necessarily legally, voted democrat. Witness 55 Cleveland precincts with 0 Romney votes (many more woth i or 3), same in Philadelphia, the Obamaphone Creature (please tell me she's rich and educated).

        November 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • doug

        If what you are saying is true it would easily be President Romney today. Fortunately, while maybe some republican voters are not that well off, they maintain a sense of pride in keeping the government out of their lives.

        November 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
      • Reality Check

        The poor and under-educated don't vote for republicans, as they buy into the ideological class war-fare spewed by democrats. In fact, it's that population demographic that lifted Obama to win this election. Taxing the rich does very little to help this economy, and that's understood by most anyone with "common sense". Taxing the rich is nothing more than a catchphrase to cause a divide in this nation, to score some political points – to skirt around the serious spending issue right smack in front us. The poor and under-educated understand what "not biting the hand that feeds us" means, and which keeps the democrats in office. Food stamps, welfare, condoms, abortions – all freely given to the poor and under-educated, thanks to "everyone" who pays taxes. Yeah, let's keep spending at the rate we are – let strive to become so indebted that this great nation becomes a 3rd world country forced to learn Mandarin.

        November 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
      • Dr Tom

        The statistics are readily available. The people with the lowest incomes tended to vote for Obama. The least educated (eg HS drop out) tended to vote for Romney.

        November 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • joe

        taxing the rich does work, see our country up until the seventies, large growth happened. what would benefit us the most is by creating a simple tax policy. GDP is 18 trillion, we need 3.5 to operate and another .2 to pay down the debt – every pays a 23 percent tax rate across the board. problem solved, most people get lower taxes – we all have more money.

        November 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @doug.............. Please stop repeating keep Gov't out of our lives crap. I don't see gov't knocking on your door making you use gov't programs. People get gov't assistance because they need it. The republicans are pro-life. If you want them to be born then you are obligated to help them.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • TonywMontana

        Democrats wanted and took money from republicans for decades. College Grads are more likely to vote republican. Obama stole the election. We don't need the democrats to print money or replace taxes with money printing. Rubio can do that. The current tax systems punishes successful people who compete. The estate tax should be banded. People should want to leave money and land to their kids and not some x crack head. Despite tax shelters the top 10% pay 90% of the taxes. That includes people making as little as $60,000 per year.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • PK

        @ Joe, since 47% of Americans pay no income tax just exactly how is 23% across the board going to lower the rates for most Americans?

        November 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @tonywmontana................If the current system punishes tax payers that compete, how come Mutt Romney has so much money?

        November 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @realitycheck...............Why is "taxing the rich" divisive? It's not like were taking their first born. Deal with Reality. We had the biggest job growth during the Clinton admin. What was the tax rate on the rich 39%. We almost were led into a depression by Bush. What had he done? Lower it to 35%. Trickle down doesn't work, has never worked and never will work!

        November 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • PK

      Government takes enough from all Americans in taxes. The problem is spending and spending allows the buying of votes. If I overspend in my personal life I can't go to my boss and say, "hey I messed up and spent more than I have so you have to pay me more", yet that is what government does to us. The all forget that we are the bosses. They work for us. They all think they are more important than they are. Look at what they have done to this nation.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        The reason we spend so much money is simple. People are expensive! The problem is the republicans are pro-life. Every person born costs money, either to the parents or the state. You want to cut costs? Encourage birth control and the ugly A word abortion. Less people mean less costs. It's the same rules for individuals, companies and even a country.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • ohctshirts

        I have not party affiliation but I VOTE. I dont what you're talking about "spending, spending. spending". Should we let that factory worker who got laid off bc his/ her job was shipped over seas go w/ out Uninsurance compesation? Or their children go without Food Stamps to off set the rising cost of food? Or their children go w/ out health coverage (Medicaid)? The cost of caring for someone with no insurance is a hell of a lot more than caring for someone w insurance even if it is Medicaid.

        Should I let my client base of special needs children go w/ out much needed durable medical devices that are needed whild they are children to help them be stronger, smarter adults; who may have the fortune of entering the work when they become an adult? Or leave them drulling on themselves wearing helmets and never having the option of having a job and complete adult life bc your or your followers dont believe America should care for its own?

        November 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • ohctshirts

        ***go w/ out unemployment insurance.

        November 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • simon

      goto a VAT system/. the more you benefit from capitalism goods and services the more you pay in taxes. the irs would be much smaller and it is easy to police

      November 23, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  3. Independent101

    Do away with the IRS – 10% consumer tax on everything but raw food. This way everyone pays the same tax. Problem fixed if you don’t spend more than you take in. That’s another problem.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • from nazi occupied Kansas

      Your solution is increditably regressive, and completely idiotic,

      November 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
      • Independent101

        Sadly your statement is idiotic, when you get off the Xbox in your mom's basement go round you up some Twinkies. Get f***ing lost. People like you have all the answers.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
      • Anie

        Hey KS Nazi. You obviously have no idea of the concept of regression. If EVERYONE is supposed to pay their fair share, a flat tax, excluding food, medicine, secular education and books and used items, THAT would be progressive. The need-to-live items are tax-free, including pro-recycled, previously taxed items. The basics for a decent life, health and education. Everything else is a luxury, and that's where a tax should come in. Period.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • rahul

        what an educated and thoughtful response independent, its a wonder you don't run for office.

        A flat tax like you describe would likely involve one of two things – either cutting expenditures entirely too severely (way past what even you would deem necessary), or would entail a much much steeper flat tax rate, which would not hurt the very rich or the very poor nearly as much as it would hurt the middle class (the very class that needs to be strengthened in order to turn the economy back around). This isn't just my "opinion," its the opinion of a lot of economists that have been studying the viability of a flat tax both here in the US and abroad.

        The problem with economic solutions that can be summarized in one sentence, is that, in the end, they're usually devoid of any real critical thinking skills or real-world applicability.

        What works for politicians doesn't necessarily work for the rest of us.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Remark

      To independent 101: does your tax include financial instruments and investments? Why shouldn't those be taxed? They are "purchases". Would you include real estate? College tuition? Healthcare? Would you do away with the deduction for charitable contributions? Retirement accounts? Would you get rid of social security/SDI and payroll taxes? Medicare? Would it apply to corporations? How would you tax corporations? Or would you? They are "people" you know....

      November 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
      • RickInNY

        That should depend on, if there was still an income tax. If there's an income tax, I wouldn't agree with taxing investments too. I'm sick of being double taxed, not that I can afford investments, lol.

        I'm personally more of a fan of a luxury tax. Drop income taxes lower, but have large taxes on things like boats, planes, etc. Then close a bunch of the loopholes that people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates utilize so they pay little to no taxes on their income.

        There are plenty of ways to fix our country's problems. But when you have wealthy people making the laws, there's no chance that they're going to vote against their own interests.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • Independent101

        Everything and everyone would pay a tax on what is purchased that simple. Corporations purchase materials, real estate on a daily basis these would be taxed. I’m just like everyone else I’m sick & tired of loopholes for the rich, however I’m sick & tired of loopholes for people that sit on there a$$ then receive a check at the end of the year. I would like to see education and healthcare exclude from this tax, very good questions my friend. My guess you don’t live in your mom’s basement.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • d.m.elsworth


      November 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • Independent101

      Rahul: You must have me confused with another statement other than mine. I did not say a flat tax I said a consumer tax. Furthermore you and your economists haven’t anticipated what the American people do, they spend beyond there means just like the government. At 10% this would be adequate, Texas taxes about 8.5% on items purchased, Texas is not in debt nor will it become in debt. This is a state lead by an idiot, just like this nation. Don’t be led around by so-called economists, how’s the plan working now? What I’m saying is that this nation has a broken system at every end, don’t spend more that you make, you or your government.

      November 20, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
  4. RA

    Oh look- the model of "honesty and ethical behavior, " Fareed Zakaeera lecturing about fixing a self-honest system in our tax code! I am looking outside for flying Bacon. It never ends with this guy.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Ryu

      I like turtles

      November 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • RA

        Turtles?? You MAKE ZERO sense. Fareed Zakeera is a plagirisit, while Forbes has referred to Zakaria "as one of the 25 most influential liberals in the American media" Does copying other people's works and publishing it as your own qualify for being a top journalist? Btw, given his anti-American, pro-Islamist stance, who is he exactly copying his work from- Ayathollah Khomeini or Ahmadinejad??

        November 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • deep blue

        me too

        November 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ryu

      I'd rather not sit here and try to explain to you about every single thing you just wrote. Instead, I am going to explain to you how great turtles are and how they benefit the environment

      November 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
      • rahul

        ryu is my hero.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Wes

    "Time Magazine columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has apologized "unreservedly" to Jill Lepore for plagiarizing her work..."

    How did you manage to keep your job? What a joke!

    November 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  6. Sagebrush Shorty

    There is no one in the Obama administration who is competent enough to even understand the situation.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • jake

      there are many, many more people in the obama administration that have intimate knowledge of finances and the economy than there are smart people in your house……….

      November 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      I guess you voted for 47% Mutt Romney. He has all the answers! So much so the people said use your knowledge in the private sector!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  7. Jerry

    I was prepared to read his ideas on revising the tax code and only found a commercial to watch his tv show? Pfffft!

    November 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  8. JD

    There is an issue with this approach. It makes sense! So it will never happen. Special interests run the country and do you think they are going to give up a gift that keeps on giving? Never! I still do not know why a billion dollar Oil Company needs any tax/subsidy or prop up. Are they making money based on good business development or making money based on gov/tax payers prop ups????

    November 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  9. Lagos

    Or one could simply bracketize capital gains taxes in a progressive manner, eliminate ALL deductions, lower the existing tax rates. But that would actually fix problems, and neither party's interested in that.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • RickInNY

      Of course they're not. How would they become millionaires if they're not taxing the crap out of us?

      November 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  10. SMP

    a globalist pig as always. always distractions instead of real solutions. always causing in fighting amongst the sheep who still believe in the boogie man. cnn/time must be so proud to have this distractive liar on their staff, lowering their credibility with each piece of filth he puts out! my money for one will NEVER support any aspect of your media operations or the corporations who sponsor the lies and distractions you vomit forth! gee a novel idea, HOW ABOUT LESS FAKE WAR! al qaeda is an invention of the cia who promotes funding both sides along with the globalist bankers, who care nothing about you, but now somehow your stuck with the debt from all this. when you sheep learn to say NO MORE, you win! and little nazi liars like fareed will go away!

    November 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • Len

      Wow, testy!

      November 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  11. GMAN-64

    Is this Zakaria's original work or did he plagiarize it from someone else?

    November 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  12. Military Vet

    If the GOP loves the 50's so much, then why not go back to the Eisenhower tax rates? President Eisenhower believed people who worked for their money (earned income) should have lower tax rates than people who invest their money (unearned income). It was only fair because people who invested didn’t have to do any work to earn the money. The GOP dislikes people who are unemployment because they get paid for doing nothing. But they like investors? What’s the difference between someone on unemployment and someone who invests? Trick question – there is no difference. The people who are actually working are paying for the benefits of both the investor and the unemployed.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • CaliforniaWorker

      You nailed it !!!
      All the investors should be taxed higher than those who earn money with hard labor.
      Only exception should be for retirees after age 65, and only on their earned savings (not inherited).

      November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Reply
      • Anie

        sure, discourage investing. So much for supporting new business.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @Anie........... It won't discourage investing. Look at where we are today. If you can make money in the end is all that matters.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • Turtle

        @ Anni / I agree with Ken Margo on this one. People aren't going to simply stop investing because the tax rate goes up. They will still make a profit if they are smart about it, it just wont be as much of a profit. This is also fitting because, like military Vet said, people who invest didn't actually exert any effort in making that money. The country managed to grow and prosper for decades with much higher tax rates than today, what evidence is there to show that we cant prosper with a slightly heftier tax burden?

        November 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Good point!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply

    Knowing how this man's moral compass works, I decline to take anything he says seriously. Truth is, he should have been fired by CNN after his self admitted plagiarism. What does this guy "have on his bosses" (spelled blackmail), that kept them from firing him.

    November 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Please stop worrying about Zakaria! Focus on the responses! Healthy debates is what it should be about!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • RA

      Fathom for a second to be in his position in your own given field of work! Can you imagine you would be around any longer? I absolutely agree with you and it is a shame that Men such as this fraud are allowed to be called journalists at this level and disseminate lies.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  14. Christopher

    I am a conservative and I would support an increase in taxes IF: 1) Cut out all wasteful spending by the government. That means no pet projects, no pork, no more $450k spent to keep an unused airport open so it can collect federal money, and 2) EVERYONE, without exception, pays federal income tax.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      If The poorest use what little money they make to pay taxes, how do they eat, pay rent, etc.. They will be more dependent than ever on public assistance.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • Christopher

        The poor in this country are still wealthier in terms of material goods, access to health care, food, etc. than the poor in most other nations. I volunteered for years with various non-governmental charities that assisted the poor and I was always amazed at how many "poor" people I delivered food to who had better cars and bigger televisions than I did, "poor" people who lived in nicer apartments than I lived in. Even a nominal tax rate, such as 5% would ensure that everyone has some skin in the game. And like I mentioned, I would support higher taxes if waste was cut and everyone paid. The higher tax revenue could be used to train the able-bodied to work, through programs like vocational education or community college. For example, I would support 4 years of food and housing assistance for someone to complete a 2 year college or vocational training program so they could get a good job upon graduation and pay more taxes to help pull the next person up and out of poverty.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        People like to mention cars and televisions. Could it be that they got those things before they needed assistance? Maybe someone gave them those things? If you think these individuals are getting assistance and don't deserve it, why did you continue to serve them? I like your idea of educational programs to help people. Unfortunately Mutt Romney wanted to cut/gut all programs that helped the poor. You would not wanted in today's republican party.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
      • Christopher

        It's possible that they got their nice stuff before they became poor, or that they were given those things, but I saw it so often that I find it hard to believe that all of them it had it that way. Half of my family is poor, well bleow the poverty line, and I see them buying TV's and designer shoes for their kids and it's made me a little cynical about their situations. I have no problem helping out people who are genuinely struggling and are trying to improve their lives. There were times I was out of work and didn't have much in the way of income, and what I did was sold the things I didn't need to raise money for food and to keep a roof over my head. I have volunteered for various charitable organizations since I was in the 9th grade and have always felt it is important to try to share some of my time and talent with people who I are less fortunate than me.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Christopher................ You keep doing what you're doing. More people (including me) should look at things the way you do. I just don't like it when rich (Mutt Romney) types stereotype all poor people as being moochers or lazy. There are plenty of rich people that rig the system to their advantage, (Mutt Romney, Bernie Madoff, Wall Street) they need to be called out also.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • CaliforniaWorker

      Agreed 100% !!!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
    • Christopher

      ...And the reason I am a conservative is because I believe the answer is to help the poor become wealthier, not to make the wealthier poorer.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        You think raising the rate from 35 to 39 is going to make the rich poorer?

        November 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • Christopher

        No, it wouldn't neccessarily (sp?), and like I wrote in a previous post, I would support higher tax rates IF the government quit wasting the money it already collects from the taxpayers and if everyone paid at least a little bit in taxes. Asking people who earn more to pay more while not requiring anyone else to sacrifice even a little bit is not fair. I also wrote in another response that exempting the first portion of income below the poverty level for the given household and then taxing everything above that at the same rate would be a viable option. The stereotype that everyone who makes over $250k a year got there by exploiting the poor only serves to further social division and class warfare. The class warefare/fair share rhetoric is only dividing our country. Obama's comments about executives not buying corporate jets is incredibly short sighted, given the thousands of middle class people who work for companies such as Bombardier, LearJet, Gulfstream, etc. as well as the hundreds of companies that provide components used to build those jets. Clinton tried (and failed) with his luxury tax; all that achieved was to hurt the companies building high end cars, boats, etc. and the people who work for those companies.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        No one said those making 250k or more are exploiting anyone. Just like not all poor are lazy, not all rich live the glamorous life. Bottom line who has the money? The rich. If you need money, go to those that have it.

        November 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
      • rahul

        what billionaire is going to not buy a personal jet because he's displeased with the luxury tax? The extremely wealthy in general aren't going to stop consuming because their taxes go up.

        November 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
      • Christopher

        Actually, in 1991 when the 10% luxury tax was imposed it was soon recognized as a job killer, which is why it was repealed in 1993.

        November 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        If what you said is true I'm sure lobbyists and politics had more to do with repealing it than killing jobs.

        November 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  15. Natasha

    We need a flat tax so everyone irregardless of income or business pays the same rate no deductions.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      So let me get this straight. You want someone who makes $30,000 to pay the same tax as someone that makes $1,000,000.00. What should that rate be? The poorer person will feel it more than the millionaire.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Let's say the flat rate is 10%. The person making 1 million would pay $100,000 while the person making $30,000 would pay $3,000, that is quite fair and simple. If the person making $30,000 would be more motivated to try and improve their lot, by taking courses to improve their skills so they can find a better job or come up with a winning business start idea of their own. We need people making a low income to try and improve themselves either way. There is less incentive to improve one's self with the tax system we now have.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @mike.............You and republicans need to understand, There ARE people that work hard and still FAIL. Because someone is poor, that doesn't mean they don't try. Sometimes people are victims of crime, mother nature or just simply make a bad decision. Working hard does not mean a guarantee of success.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
      • LeftyCoaster

        I think we have a fundamental problem when one's only measure of worth is income. It's disappointing to hear one state that someone who makes less money needs to better themselves, without having met that person. I know it's the cynical view that the wealthy have in our society, but we don't need to all stoop to that level, do we?

        November 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
      • rahul

        i don't know how anyone with a conscious could give the explanation that Mike just gave with a straight face. No im not in favor of a nanny state – but when libertarians or conservatives throw around explanations like this as if the world was really this simple its makes me really wonder who these people are and how they could say things like this.

        A person making 30000 a year will feel the loss of that 10% of income WAY more than a millionaire paying 100k. That 3k might very well be the difference between a meal to eat and starvation. Dont try to tell me to start feeling bad for a millionaire that can't afford a summer home on at a ski resort.

        No one is denying that life isn't fair, and that people have the ability to help themselves. But I'm sick of people denying that misfortune falls upon people without those people being able to do anything about it, while trying to drum up sympathy for the super wealthy.

        November 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
      • deep blue

        A 10% tax would not near pay for everything. Let's put it this way, annual income of the nation is approximately equal to GDP. Thus, the arithmetic mean average American pays (government revenue / GDP) percent of his or her income in federal taxes. Currently, we pay an average of 16%. That is a historic low. 18-20% is typical.
        Median federal tax rate is much lower than that because we have a progressive tax code. Thus, you need 16% flat tax to raise revenue we get now, or 18% if you want pre2007 levels of revenue.

        November 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Christopher

      I like the idea of a flat tax, but I do not support eliminating all deductions. For example, the mortgage interest deduction is one of the biggest incentives for people to own homes and provides a much needed break for the middle class. I think a fair way to calculate a flat tax would be to exempt the first portion of income equal to the poverty limit for the size of the household ($11,170 for a household of one, $15,130 for two, $23,050 for four, etc.) and then tax the amount of income over that limit at the flat rate, say 10%.

      November 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        The Mortgage Interest is not all that great. I have not been able to get better savings with it the past several years. Do away with all deductions, credits and loopholes. Make the tax code truly fair and in doing so, it will make revenue projections much easier than it is today.

        November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  16. Marty in MA

    Tax loopholes are created for the rich to keep stuff. They don't help ordinary Americans.
    The US tax code is a joke and should be completely rewritten. Only problem is that it will put thousands of accountants out of business. That is unlikely to happen 😦

    November 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  17. cc

    You lost me by putting it in a video. Like most intelligent people I read faster than I listen so I don't waste my time getting news from videos. If you can't write it down then don't expect me to 'hear' what you have to say.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  18. jim

    There is only one way to fix the tax code. We must follow one of this country's basic precepts: equal treatment under the law. This requires that every year, each citizen pays the federal government exactly the same amount of money. Income, wealth, possessions do not matter.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  19. Geauxpher

    I favor the FairTax since it solves all of our problems. Politicians making tax policy favor tweaks to the status quo because they get to decide who gets to keep what. They will not easily relinquish this power. Remember: The only thing more fun than spending money is spending other people's money.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  20. dontbow

    The way to fix the tax code is to raise taxes on the wealthy you idiot. haven't you heard from the dumocrats? lol

    November 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Fox news would say fair and balanced! Tax the wealthy, cut some spending.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  21. American

    First by not having the Indian Muslim lover Fareed trying to tell us what we need to do.

    November 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      We were having a nice debate, Then the bigot shows up.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  22. Don

    Everyone's an expert now. LOL Moving on.

    November 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  23. kmac

    Since corps are people there should be just one tax form. Why should that group of people get special breaks–equal protection–does not exsist

    November 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  24. chris


    November 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      It's time to move on from Ron Paul. There are more to the presidency than trying to impose a flat tax.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  25. Z

    The only taxation that makes _ANY_ sense at all and is fair is a flat percentage applied to everyone with no deductions. Those that make little pay little, those that make a lot pay a lot.

    November 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  26. dog4dog

    tax hikes on the rich who own everything and employ everybody are not the answer, obama should use everything at his disposal to bring our jobs home, labor laws are what is needed, we invented the car, plane and nuke, we cannot afford to ship our jobs oversees if we wish to remain number one

    November 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • dog4dog

      obama should develop new business plans for companies that do their bidding oversees, give them plants hear in the us and have hand delivered 100 applications for employment to each of them, not too much obviously or we are not free but healthy incomes still to the ceos and smart, lucky and sometimes too smart people
      taxes, in my humble opinion, are not the answer, the money must flow external to uncle sam or what we may as well have a king and queen if the money must go to big brother in order to get things done

      November 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      You want to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas? Stop buying stuff made in other countries! Companies only care about the bottom line. If the imports aren't selling, they'll ship the jobs back. The slogan made in America should mean something to you.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      i thought small business employed most of the people. Those businesses aren't owned by rich people.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
      • dog4dog

        i really am not an expert on the economy but I do know that there are many jobs that I would not do but could bring joy and happiness to others as good union jobs with pensions, security and healthy wages...and many are oversees, people got a mentality of a war against the rich, absolutely wrong, they didn't foresee all the jobs disappearing, they were just trying to improve profits by getting low cost labor, take for example, what is 2 billion in profit vs 5.36 billion to nike inc, the people who run that could probably care less but are concerned and fearful of change, you would be to in their shoes, but nonetheless change is possible and necessary, a good friend of mine makes 30k a year by finding construction hear and there and going on unemployment at other points, what are we if our people are unhappy

        November 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
      • dog4dog

        although i will say this, i bet in the end it takes absolutely dirty politics to get those jobs back home,

        November 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Are You happy for your friend? $30,000 is not much to live on considering taxes. I'm for capitalism, you have a right to make as much money as you can. On the other hand, American workers shouldn't have to suffer for it. If jobs keep going overseas, we'll end up making slave wages because there will be more workers than jobs available. The solution IS in our hands. STOP BUYING FOREIGN PRODUCTS.

        November 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  27. Muin

    Simpson-Bowle would be a great gift for lobbyists.

    November 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  28. dreamer96

    Notice how the Walton family that runs Walmart made sure to get their dividends checks before the tax rate increases in January...The Waltons use our interstate and roads and bridges...but do not want to pay to repair them...or pay a living wage to their wokers...most Walmart employees only get 20 hours a week and apply for food stamps inorder to survive...

    November 20, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  29. Ollie Oxenfree

    Hey plagiarist, we need a flat tax, small government, and an end to Obama's perpetual wars.

    November 20, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
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