Who said that economists never agree on anything? NPR’s Planet Money has drafted a six-point plan that is “backed by economists of all stripes, but probably toxic to any candidate that might endorse it”.
One: Eliminate the mortgage tax deduction, which lets homeowners deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. ….
Two: End the tax deduction companies get for providing health-care to employees. Neither employees nor employers pay taxes on workplace health insurance benefits. ….
Three: Eliminate the corporate income tax. Completely. ….
Four: Eliminate all income and payroll taxes. All of them. For everyone. …. Instead, impose a consumption tax, designed to be progressive to protect lower-income households.
Five: Tax carbon emissions. Yes, that means higher gasoline prices. ….
Six: Legalize marijuana.
“Six Policies Economists Love (And Politicians Hate)“, Planet Money, NPR blog, 19 July 2012.
These proposals received unanimous approval from five prominent economists with political views ranging from Dean Baker (co-director of a Washington, D.C. think tank) on the left to Russ Roberts (George Mason University professor) on the right. For details, click on the link above.
The first two proposals are very specific to the US tax code. The other four are applicable to nearly all countries, and just as unpopular with voters.
A seventh proposal, popular with economists but unpopular with voters, is ‘Eliminate all taxes on imports and exports’. I do not understand why that was not included, unless trade taxes are so low in the US that they are no longer an issue.
HT Mark Thoma