In the other Washington, there's always talk of scrapping the federal tax code. It's no mystery why. The Internal Revenue Code runs to 7.5 million words and occupies, with regulations, one and one-half feet of shelf space. But complexity is not the worst fault of taxdom.
The biggest and least-discussed problem is this: We tax the wrong things. Mostly, we tax things we want more of, such as paychecks and enterprise, not things we want less of, such as pollution and resource depletion. Naturally, we get less money and more messes. Doing the opposite would yield double dividends: cleaner air and flusher bank accounts. "Tax Shift" is a blueprint for a revolt that would get taxes off our backs and onto our side.