From the “you can’t make this stuff up” department:
President Obama spoke three days ago about ending “loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.”
The Obama administration yesterday, however, “announced the availability of $150 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the United States.”
These tax credits have gone, in eight-figure amounts, to politically connected companies like Cree, GE, and Siemens. Have you gotten one?
President Obama doesn’t want to close loopholes so much as he wants to close them for people he doesn’t like, and open them for people he does.
Which is an argument in favor of tax codes that are flat, broad and low. We’ve gone too far in allowing politicians to push their pet projects, to advance their agendas, by trying to manipulate us through the tax code. We need equitable taxes that aren’t complex and are low.
Just the compliance cost alone of this ever-shifting tax code is enormous, even before you get to actual taxes paid. Keeping track of policy changes, and jumping through the regulatory hoops necessary to comply with them, is expensive.
Should we end loopholes? Absolutely, but end them for everybody and offset the tax increases with lower overall rates.