On Planet Money a podcast, The No-Brainer Economic Platform It's 20 minutes of politically suicidal heresy. One principle here is taxes serve two purposes: A. To raise revenues for public works B. To create a structure of penalties for bad unproductive behavior and incentives for good productive behavior They all agreed on simplify the tax code, close loopholes: 1. The biggest, the mortgage tax deduction Causes house price inflation. Is a regressive incentive to the rich folks to buy pointlessly lavish homes. 2. Remove deduction for employer provided healthcare It balloons US healthcare costs. 3. Scrap income and salary taxes, instead tax consumption The former are good things for the economy the latter often bad. 4. Scrap corporate tax If you want to tax rich people tax them directly not useful economic activity. 5. Tax pollution, carbon use, raise gas prices drastically 6. Liberalize drug laws The war on drugs is a huge waste of resources and many drugs are less of a social evil than alcohol.