Internal Revenue Service

A taxing question on paying taxes

We are going to be treated this year to a debate about a "fair" tax code. Good luck with that. We couldn't put 10 random citizens in a room and have them agree on what a "fair" tax code would be, much less 300 million Americans. You couldn't get 10 random economists to agree either. Fairness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and does not have a precise meaning. As one Supreme Court Justice famously said when trying to define pornography, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

To the far left, the more steeply progressive the tax code, the happier they are. Part of that is simply their sense of fairness. The rest of it is wanting to...