I teach the tax rules regarding real estate and income and capital gains tax. Even this little section of tax law is confusing for my students who, I believe, represent mainstream Americans in terms of their general education and math abilities.

. The one area of real estate tax law that has changed significantly in the last few years is the limit on deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes. The decrease in deductibility of these items presumably hurt those Americans who are borrowing large sums to buy/build their first homes. I believe that this change was targeted to hurt wealthier Americans who live in high-cost areas (New York, California, urban areas such as Chicago, etc.) that tend to lean toward voting Democratic rather than Republican. Am I wrong?

The idea of the flat tax is very appealing to me! Thanks for the overwhelming and astounding research, Lee.

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This is a great history of the income tax system evolution. In the 1961-2 college year I took a year of economics. The professor was very good on the math of markets, money supply and the value of a progressive tax system. It was more fair because high earners were making more use of public economic infrastructure, leveled after tax income and was an automatic counter recession lever. I remember how good our economy seemed to be. In fact it was.

Probably only 1% of voters have followed and understood what has been happening. Another few percent think they understand, but don’t. Be assured the top %0.01 of earners understand and they have %90 on the influence on congress, through our unlimited anonymous, campaign finance laws that do not call them out and embarrass them. Every member of congress is in the 1% that understand, and don’t complain.

A good place to start wound be campaign finance reform. However, these same people control congress.

I would want total transparency on who gives and how much and how spent. The system where senators and congress members become instant millionaires, upon retirement, because the personally get all unspent campaign funds needs to end.

We should go back to a meaningful presidential check off campaign fund. Monet left over from retiring politicians should go into the fund, not their pocket.

We have not even talked about how scaring the middle class with the words “death tax” that the inheritance tax is effectively gone, as well as capital gains on assets going to those in a will. Billionaires will have trust fund generations that never need to work forever.

The framers, in the Federalist, were in great fear of either a new aristocracy forming, or a take over by the mob. They lived in a period of competitively flat income distribution. Most people were farmers or artisans making similar income and accumulated wealth. They would not have dreamed of a super wealthy aristocracy manipulating the mob, becoming the new aristocracy, to get us to where we are. This is not the top 1% who are two professionals house holds, making less than a Million a year. The aristocracy are the people who write $200,000 checks casually many times per year on political causes and country club memberships. Yearly income from working or a trust fund of $10M and up.

They have firm control of tens of millions of duped voters and most of congress.

I am not optimistic.

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