Bloomberg News's Caroline Baum has a new column with two provocative ideas on taxes and Congress.
One is a Constitutional Amendment either repealing the 16th Amendment (the one that gave Congress the power to levy an income tax) or limiting that power: "Congress may extend no credit, deduction, or other distinction of law regarding tax rates, filing status or type of economic or business activity unless it is applicable to all taxpayers."
The second, which is a really bad idea Ms. Baum borrows from a contributing editor at Tax Analysts, the non-profit publisher of Tax Notes, is "to outsource tax policy" the way that Congress delegates monetary policy to the Federal Reserve: "What we need is some kind of permanent commission that is independent of government, determines fiscal goals, sets hard targets and has some teeth." The Fed is bad enough; when taxes are levied by a "permanent commission that is independent of government," it'd be taxation without representation, the exact concept that America was founded to oppose. At least with Congress the people get a chance to vote the politicians out.