^^ PRECISELY!! I've heard many liberals in both parties decry our stupid tax system based on just the arguments made by conservatives and libertarians in this thread. Doing anything other than ditch it for a flat and/or consumption tax is stupid.
Hell, maybe even using only a flat transaction tax should be explored. Wouldn't even need to fill out forms.
DocM, THAT is why I am very much in favor of flat/consumption taxes - very little in the way of paperwork.
Here are my major points in favor of consumption and other flat taxes:
1. Pretty much unduckable - they are collected at purchase.
2. The collection mechanism already exists - except where no consumption/sales-tax mechanism exists. (In short, except for states lacking such a tax, it costs nothing extra to implement.)
3. What paperwork that would be required already exists, mostly - remember, fuels taxes are collected by the states and forwarded to the Department of Transportation via the Department of the Treasury - again, except for states like Delaware.
4. The biggest problem about setting a tax RATE for a Replacement Tax is what do you base the rate on - do you base it on estimates, or on what is actually collected?