First, I object to all taxes on moral grounds. They are theft. Stolen money has a way of tainting all it touches. Yes, that’s a bit esoteric, but it sure seems to in practice. The “invisible hand” is a measurable quantity of shared increase that only happens by the act of voluntary, fully-informed, exchange of value. Taxes (in the US) are not voluntary, they are not fully-informed transactions (think “withholding”,) and they are actually an exchange of debt.Income taxes are the worst possible kind of taxes. They have no place in a supposedly free society. There is simply no way to collect or enforce income tax without some government agency having its nose in all transactions and financial records, and fingers on many. That is the opposite of “secure in papers and effects.” That’s how we have a federal agency that is not constitutionally authorized but whose de facto powers exceed all elected representatives.Worse, income taxes are used as an instrument of social control. That’s what all those exemptions, deductions, and credits are for—this year, Congress wants you to behave this way and not that way. We can choose to act otherwise, but why should we pay the federal bribe to act with individual liberty?If we admit to a need to fund some collective services (defense, courts, etc.) by taxes, then the act of that theft should be as quick and painless as possible, with no chance for venal manipulation and no reason for Gestapo-like collection. Here are a few ideas.Poll tax - not very good, but it’s constitutional. Each state pays the federal government $xx for each person in that state. Each state collects separately. As I said, not very good.VAT or consumption tax - Right now we tax workers. (Soc. Sec. for instance.) Changing to a sales style tax would increase the value of labor relative to machines, as now the latter would be taxed rather than depreciated and the former could be depreciated rather than taxed. It requires zero individual record keeping. It does however make all businesses tax collectors, so it’s still far from perfect.A Forbes-style “flat tax.” If we absolutely feel we must keep taxing income. The truth is that “money-in - compute-stuff - collect x%” is a simple math construct and that the middle term can simply be eliminated, and still retain some “revenue neutral” tax picture. We don’t need exemptions, deductions, credits, depreciation, etc.Even less radical, but effective ‡ change the rules for capital gains, and for deductions. First, make all deductions available to businesses (retirement, travel, medical, taxes, entertainment, clothing, equipment, etc.) also available to individual human taxpayers. Only one set of rules where we don’t steal from people to subsidize business. Second, make the capital gains tax time sensitive. The less time you hold an asset, the greater your tax rate. The stock and commodity markets are supposed to be providing liquidity, not funding high-tech gambling schemes. Pick some reasonable time, let’s say 6 months. Hold an equity that long and tax is 20%. Hold it twice as long and tax is 15%, 10% for 18 months, 5% for two years, and 0 after that. Going the other way, hold it for 3 months and it’s 25%, 6 weeks is 30%, 3 weeks is 35%, ‡ 15 minutes is 80%, 4 min is 90%, 1 min or less is 100%. This eliminates high-speed trading and the gross market distortions is causes. It also promotes long-term investing.In short, there is a lot we could do to clean up federal taxation in the US. Don’t hold your breath. I fully expect to see the same Titanic thrown at us with an only mildy-rearranged set of deck chairs on the Lido deck.