Originally Posted by patteeu
Can you summarize the 5 tax proposals and 1 criminal code change these economists could all support?
Just in case you want names, the panelists from across the political platform who all wholeheartedly agree these are smart policies were: Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research (self-described left-of-center); Russ Roberts, George Mason University (hardcore free market guy, libertarian); Catherine Baker, Harvard University (professor of health economics, claims to be moderate); Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago ("pro-market, but not necessarily pro business); Robert Frank, Cornell University ("radical pragmatist", Marx scholar).
Interesting to note, these six proposed economic changes are not even HINTED at in the campaign platforms of Obama or Romney.
Eliminate the mortgage interest deduction-
This deduction saves the average middle class homeowner thousands per year on taxes. Economists say it's an extremely regressive tax, because the higher the mortgage (people who own big houses) the higher the tax cut. Benefits: Gets rid of distortions in the housing market, will likely lower housing prices so more people will be able to afford homes the LEGITIMATE way (I'm looking at you, Chris Dodd), and the government will be bringing in so much extra money from this that it would make sense to lower everybody's tax rates.
Eliminate deduction for employer-provided healthcare-
Baker: "Some people have too much health insurance. If you have insurance that covers everything with no co-payments, people don't really care about the expense of the care they receive." Drives up cost of insurance for everybody, and really screws over people who don't have insurance through their jobs. The fake presidential candidate actor they had who delivered these policies on his fake campaign speech phrased it as, "I have the solution to your out-of-control healthcare costs, I'm going to tax your health insurance benefits." The exemption is just plain inefficient.
Eliminate all corporate income taxes; reduce it from 35% to 0%
- Don't prevent companies and corporations from investing in research and development in their own organizations. If you want to tax rich people, then do that, but don't tax their business models
Eliminate all income taxes and payroll taxes; replace it with some form of consumption tax.
No need to really explain this one. Most of the panelists like the consumption tax idea. The liberal panelists are in favor of people paying progressive rates according to their income brackets, which might just mean a higher tax rate on goods sold at a certain value so a homeless dude trying to buy a loaf of bread doesn't get screwed over.
More sin taxes
- Surprisingly, even the libertarian wanted to see higher taxes on gas and energy in the interest of finding more ways to raise government revenue, and to make the country greener. Roberts, however does not like sin taxes on things like alcohol, cigarettes, soda. Also, he expressed practicality issues on making the entire world adopt these changes to energy pricing and taxing- emphasized that it does no good for the United States to adopt these theoretical reductions in carbon emissions alone
Decriminalize all drugs
- This was the one change in the criminal code. No need to explain further how it would save the government all kinds of cash