IS THIS TAX FLAT UNFAIR?

TAX REFORM IS A GOOD IDEA, BUT FORBES' PLAN WILL MAKE NEWT'S CUTBACKS LOOK INSIPID

IF THE FLAT TAX WERE A PERSON, it would be a little like Steve Forbes: straightforward and artless on the outside, more complex on closer examination. The political appeal of Forbes' flat tax--a single, 17% rate on all income above a generous personal exemption, and no deductions--lies in its apparent simplicity and its promise to close loopholes for the wealthy and well connected. The proposal has economic appeal as well: a simpler tax code could boost middle Americans' stagnant incomes, in part by freeing much of the $80 billion-plus that individuals and businesses now spend each year on tax compliance and...

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