Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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On Tax Day, fixing U.S. tax code

April 15, 2015

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(Via Flickr.com user AgriLife Today)

Everyone’s favorite time of year is here: Tax Day.

As last-minute filers send checks to the Internal Revenue Service, we thought it would be a good idea to share this Vanderbilt University video “Four Ideas To Improve U.S. Tax System” with our readers.

The talk features Beverly Moran, a professor of law and sociology, and posits a number of ways America’s tax code can be revised to close loopholes, shift the burden away from the less wealthy and strengthen social security.

Moran also describes the history of U.S. taxes briefly, going from the founding fathers to Ronald Reagan.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s a short summary of Moran’s ideas:

• The cap on social security taxes should be removed so that the wealthy contribute the same percentage of their earnings to the retirement program as do low and middle class earners. Currently, the social security tax is only collected on the first $110,000 in earnings.

• Capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as normal income. Right now, an individual whose income is taxed at 39.6 percent — the highest bracket — pays 20 percent on long-term capital gains.

• Taxes on estates, gifts, income, corporations and shareholder-level income should all be integrated in order to close commonly used loopholes. Republicans are currently trying to repeal the estate tax completely, but fewer than one percent of Americans actually pay this levy.

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