Proposal to Zero Sum Budget Title 26
The basic is idea is to re-write the federal tax code, democratically, from scratch, using the Internet and in face Town Meetings. This would allow everyone to vote on each and every credit/exemption in the 17 volume federal tax code (Title 26.) Below is a quote from the annual report of Tina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, in which she advocates having the Congress zero-sum budget the Title 26.
The advantage of this approach is that instead of the chicken wire, duct tape, seat of your pants, deduction of the day, system we have now, the country as a whole has the opportunity to think about the kind of country the tax code could shape if writing it were a mindful process. During the voting process, which would take approximately five years the only taxes collected would be on all forms of income, in accordance with the progressive brackets now in place. After the five year planning process, there would be an additional two year phase in of the new code. This gives the economy time to adjust to the change. The simplicity of the approach makes it easy to sell, the "across the board-ness" is in tune with the times and will attract libertarians who can accept the brackets. Drastically cutting the cost of administration will result in more funds ending up in public coffers.
US National Taxpayer Advocate: http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/files/NTA_testimony_waysandmeans_01202011.pdf "A Zero-Based Budgeting Approach Could Assist Congress in Deciding Which Tax Breaks and IRS-Administered Social Programs to Retain and Which to Eliminate. My suggestion is to approach tax reform in a manner similar to zero-based budgeting. Under that approach, the starting point would be a tax code without any exclusions or reductions in income or tax. As discussions proceed, tax breaks and IRS-administered social programs would be added only if lawmakers decide on balance that the public policy benefits of running the provision or program through the tax code outweigh the tax complexity challenges that doing so creates for taxpayers and the IRS. Some tax provisions and programs will meet this test, while others will not. Factors to consider in making this assessment include whether the government continues to place a priority on encouraging the activity for which the tax incentive is provided, whether the incentive is accomplishing its intended purpose, and whether a tax expenditure is more effective than a direct expenditure for achieving that purpose." T.E.O.