The bottom line is the titans are working from the wrong playbook. We’re all, to varying degrees, slaves to our experiences. Their formative experiences, almost to a man, were in the early 80s. This is when they built their knowledge and assembled their financial playbooks. They learned words like Milton Freidman, money multiplier, Paul Volcker, Ronald Reagan, and the superneutrality of money. Above all, they internalized one dictum: real men have hard money.
Remove all the deductions and exemptions, and you’d be able to reduce top tax rates, reverse the impact of the sequester, or draw down the deficit—all at once. You’d also considerably reduce the angst of tax day for millions of Americans and even allow for a downsizing of the IRS and the tax industry itself. On April 15, surely that should be an idea with immense political appeal.