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View Diary: The algebra formula that saved an industry (258 comments)

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  •  It takes a whole day to prepare our taxes (3+ / 0-)
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    Sychotic1, zephron, Larsstephens

    and I'm a mathematician.  And no, we have nothing exotic, just consulting income.

    The tax code is a scandal. Not the math, but the endless nested if-thens that each represent a vested interest.  I mean, why should income from fishing, or ministers from this or that faith, be treated differently from any other income or profession?

    In the Bush I years, when newspapers still did those things, there was a two-page expose in the NYTimes about how the first family actually paid LESS taxes, percentwise, than a salaried employee earning 30 or 40k a year. I forget the details, but two things stuck out: both were paying about 10% of their income in tax, in spite of a "progressive" tax code; and the Bushes were able to, for instance, choose a low-tax state (Texas) as their "residence" in spite of spending 0% of the year there.

    Of course they had all sorts of tax shelters and creative instruments which are not available to the less well-to-do.

    Ever since I've felt that the tax code needs to be drastically simplified, most if not all exemptions and shelters eliminated, and transparency restored.  I'm not quite a flat taxer, but in practice, a flat 20% tax on the first 250k of income minus a 10k/person exemption, followed by a flat 50% tax on all earnings past 250k, would be a lot saner, simpler and even more progressive than what we have now.

    Silvio Levy

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