The cartoon below brings up the question that has been on my mind since the IRS scandal first broke: might this be the opening for tax reform, or better still, a flat tax? The arguments for a flat tax have long been not just simplicity but that it would be more conducive to economic growth. But liberal and defenders of the status quo aren’t interested in economic growth through rational tax policy—liberals want to redistribute and punish the rich; special interests of every description want to hang on to their special tax breaks, and politicians love being able to dole out these favors (especially politicians named “Dole”).
But perhaps the egregious partiality and corruption of the IRS has provided the largest opening ever for pushing for a flat tax—the one-page variety that Steve Forbes and others have long touted. It could be sold as the only way to end IRS corruption and government favoritism. And if in the process of simplification charitable deductions are curtailed, how can liberals complain any more about 501(c) 3 and (c) 4 groups?
As the thunderous audience applause Jay Leno evoked by smacking down the IRS the other night is any indication, there is a huge opening here for any Republican who has the wit to run with this. Over to you, Rand Paul?
UPDATE: I see I’m not the only one thinking this way.