Flat-taxers pretend a flat tax is good public policy, for two reasons.
First, they say, it would simplify paying taxes. Baloney. Flat-tax proposals don’t eliminate all deductions. People with families will still be able to deduct their dependents while single people will pay a higher rate, businesses will deduct their expenses, and, in most plans, people with homes will still be able to deduct interest on their mortgages.
That means most taxpayers would still have lots of paperwork.
Second, proponents of a flat tax say it’s fairer than the current system because, in Cain’s words, a flat tax “treats everyone the same.”
The truth is, the current tax code treats everyone the same. It’s organized around tax brackets. Everyone whose income reaches one bracket is treated the same as everyone else whose income reaches that bracket (apart from various deductions, exemptions and credits, of course).