More reasons to like a flat tax

November 29, 2007, 12:40 AM UTC

I wrote in (limited) praise of Fred Thompson’s flat tax proposal the other day. My main argument for a flat tax is the beauty of tossing out of work all the leaches on our economy, namely the tax-law specialists. For what it’s worth, and in response to some of the robust comments I’ve been receiving, I certainly meant no offense to tax preparers, who do a job that’s totally needed under the current tax code. They’d be hurt by a flat tax too, of course. But with their knowledge of finance and accounting they’d no doubt find ways to contribute elsewhere.

I did fail to insult one class of people, however, and I was delighted to see the Wall Street Journal editorial page, in an item titled “Flat Tax Fred,” pick up the slack today regarding Beltway lobbyists. Some of their bon mots:

The flat tax has the added political benefit of assaulting the special interests who populate the Gucci Gulch outside Congress’s tax-writing committee rooms. Lower rates and simplify the tax code, and you instantly reduce the opportunities for Beltway corruption. It is both a tax policy and political reform.

I disagree, by the way, with the Journal‘s trivialization of Thompson’s failure to specify where the revenue upside would come from imposing a flat tax. But that’s a fight for another day.