PLEDGE NOW
Time For A Better Tax System?

John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook

On the eve of the tax filing deadline, we ask the question on everyone’s mind: Is this the best tax system we can come up with?

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Sonia Joaquin holds a sign to remind passing motorists that Thursday is the deadline for taxes in Tigard, Ore. on Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP)

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Sonia Joaquin holds a sign to remind passing motorists that Thursday is the deadline for taxes in Tigard, Ore. on Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP)

You’ve got until tomorrow to file your 2011 tax return. It’s a chore for everyone – and for many, a nightmare of complexity and uncertainty. Are we stuck with this 70,000 page tax code forever? Or is Washington finally going to give us a fairer and simpler one? President Obama says millionaires – like him and Mitt Romney — need to pay more.

But Romney says any tax increase would hurt our economy. Would lower rates for business create more jobs?

Up next On Point: The policy, and politics, of creating a new tax system.

-John Harwood

Guests

Margaret Collins, covers personal finance stories for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress

Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center

From The Reading List

Yahoo Finance “President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid a 20.5 percent federal tax rate on $789,674 in adjusted gross income for 2011, according to tax returns released today by the White House.”

New York Times “Taxpayers of all incomes would pay higher taxes. The Tax Policy Center says those in the bottom 20 percent, making about $8,500 a year on average, would pay 9.4 percent of their income in all federal taxes. This amounts to about 13 percentage points more than they do today (now they get a net credit). The average federal tax for those in the top 20 percent — families making $214,000 a year — would rise to 34.5 percent from 22.9 percent.”

Reuters “Republican Mitt Romney, looking for a boost in his presidential campaign, proposed an overhaul of the tax system on Wednesday that he said would cut Americans’ tax rates by 20 percent and limit deductions for the wealthy.”

 Los Angeles Times “Both candidates claim they want “tax reform,” but when they say those words, they’re really talking about other things.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments