Taxes are necessary so that we have a way of paying for all of the programs that people want to have working for them, whether it is the EPA, schools, parks, roads, hospitals, police, fire, EMS, etc. In an economy centered on the obtaining of money and wealth, taxes are necessary to provide the financial backing for social programs and infrastructure that, if done properly, is self-sustaining. Unfortunately, those with the wealth, for the most part, tend to not want to divest themselves of any of their money, and so provide a ratio of their income that is drastically less than those without great resources. This causes the cycle to be eventually non-self-sustaining due to the unfair distribution of resources. Taxes must be fairly placed, with the greater burden falling on those who have the greater resources to be able to afford the burden. A truly fair taxation policy will not make those with great wealth happy because they will be legally obligated to pay a higher tax rate. Unfortunately, those with the money make the rules, and so it becomes almost impossible to change the tax code in order to facilitate a more equitable system of taxation.
The fact is this: Taxes are what pays for everything, like it or not. Lowering taxes only leads to significant decreases in infrastructure spending, and a decrease in, or removal of, socially necessary and desired programs, especially healthcare and education. Regardless of what the Republican Party may say and want you to believe, you can’t have your cake and eat it too: There is no way to lower taxes while still maintaining the same level of funding to all of the agencies, programs, policies, and laws that require those very same taxes to operate. Lowering taxes for people below the poverty line, the poor, and the middle class is fine, but you have to recoup those losses somewhere, which in this case should be from those wealthy individuals who can afford to pay additional tax because they can afford to. You cannot have social programs without taxes, period -- no money, no programs.
Tax loopholes are either the result of a mistake in the crafting of or an oversight resulting from insanely complex laws, or are a purposeful entry meant to decrease taxes for those who can afford the tax regardless. How many ordinary 40-hours per week citizens have any option to use a tax loophole? Tax loopholes only exist when you start dealing with huge sums of money, which no average person has. I would enable a separate committee of highly-qualified accountants and tax professionals to look at every page of the tax code in order to remove all loopholes, as a loophole only exists in order to get out of paying the taxes that someone or some company owes.
Income tax should focus on those individuals and entities that can afford taxes in the first place. More income means a larger tax amount because it can be handled without changing quality of life. As examples: If a person makes one million dollars in a year, they can easily afford to pay 50% of that as tax, with no loopholes or way around the tax, because they are still going to have $500,000 at the end of the year. That is more than ten times the amount of money that most people make in a year, so there should be no crying about how bad they have it. However, someone who makes $30,000 a year cannot afford 50% in tax because they would then only have $15,000, which would put an unbearable and completely unrealistic burden on them. Income tax needs to be based on your income, with those people who make huge sums of money paying more because they can afford to, and those people making an average wage or below, paying considerably less, because they cannot afford to pay more.
The US Tax Code is far too complex for what it needs to do -- blueprints for the Space Shuttle were probably easier to decipher and had fewer pages in the instruction manual. This is a difficult procedure but must be dealt with and fixed. The same committee that removed the tax loopholes would also be working on this lengthy and involved process. It would take time, but it could be done as long as there was absolutely no outside influence or input from individuals and corporations that benefit from the complexity of the laws and the loopholes that are there for them to abuse.