NYT reports that Enron is

NYT reports that Enron is blaming the tax code for many of their problems. This is one of those interesting times where the same set of facts will be seized upon by the Left and the Right. The Left will say, “Aha! This proves that we are too easy on the greedy corporations. Let’s put an end to corporate welfare!” The Right will say, “Aha! This proves the tax code is too complicated.” Both the Left and the Right miss the forest for the trees with their analysis. What this shows is (1) taxing income is a bad idea, as it gives everyone incentives to hide, underreport, or otherwise minimize their reported income in order to keep some of their own money and (2) the tax code inevitably becomes a mess when you try to make public policy (by granting write-offs and other perks to reward favored behavior) with your tax laws rather than simply using them as a tool for raising revenue. I’d much prefer a no deduction consumption tax. No progressivity whatsoever. If you want to help the poor by redistributing tax dollars, then just pay them welfare and be honest about it.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.