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The return of the flat tax

To the political stage at least. Stanford economist Robert Hall was promoting the efficiency of tax simplification in the late 70's and early 80's. Now he's happy that the issue is back in play:

"I haven't had a journalist call me on the flat tax in years .... I thought it was an ice-cold issue."

Could this be Bush's unifying theme for the second term?

When queried by reporter Caroline Baum, Hall opined that the likelihood of adopting a flat tax is "zero in a pure form... But there's such a gap between ideal and steps you might take." I'll take incremental progress, and with a unified government, a baby step or two in that direction might be politically feasible.

Presidential commentary: In my view, Clinton's otherwise superb record on economic policy was compromised by his eagerness to litter the tax code with gimmicks for favored programs. Bush has a chance to play a bit of catch-up here.