Unfortunately my email is down at the moment so I can't ask Ben Bateman directly... but is this really the best way to design a tax system?
When Congress is in session, it's best to arrange your financial affairs very defensively. Herewith, some specifics.
From the start of 2001 through this past september Congress made (by tax publisher CCH's count) 1,971 changes to the U.S. tax code--roughly 3 for each day it was in session. And all this tinkering produced what? The need for still more changes, of course.
The article goes on for several thousand words explaining a mind-boggling array of tax considerations that middle-class earners need to take into account, and it leaves me feeling utterly forlorn.