WITH TAXES WE BUY CIVILIZATION….Max Sawicky writes an ode to the income tax and makes an intriguing suggestion to simplify the tax code.

Isn’t the income tax too complicated? Sure. How to simplify it?

One way is to tax all income under the same rates, rather than favoring wealth over work, as above. Another is to consolidate deductions and credits into fewer, simpler ones. For instance, my pet project is to merge the Earned Income Tax credit, the Child Tax Credit and the dependent exemption into a Simplified Family Credit. Both liberal and conservative Democrats like this idea. It’s sad if predictable that simplifying taxes for moderate and low-income families with children is not the favorite thing of the current Congress.

Max, knight in shining armor to our tax code in distress, also writes a truly brilliant elegy to the Estate and Gift Tax on his blog, MaxSpeak, You Listen!. Numbers 3 and 6 are my favorite, but you really want to read the whole thing.

3. Estate taxation IS NOT double-taxation. Much of the income accumulated in estates has NEVER been taxed. This includes appreciation in the value of financial assets, unincorporated businesses, and farms held until death. Even so, double taxation is not exactly unknown. If they don’t like double-taxation, why don’t the wingnuts campaign for the abolition of the sales tax? It taxes the use of income that has already been taxed. I think I know why.

…6. We do know of at least one family farm forced to liquidate under Government Oppression. That was the chicken farm of a lady who, along with other landowners, was expropriated so that the stadium of the Texas Rangers could be built. The culprit was a well-known acolyte of enterprise and freedom. O Justice, where art thou?

I guess it’s not an elegy so much as a snarky, well-informed smack-down.

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