And if you want to know why the AMT costs me so much, let me tell you it's a reason that Democrats should care about, because it's all about living in a blue state. The deductions I lose in the AMT calculation are -- as I wrote here -- are state and local taxes, like my incredible $12,000 property tax bill:
What the AMT does -- certainly in my case -- is to make sure that people who suffer from a really high state and local tax burden still pay their share of federal taxes. Getting rid of the AMT makes it easier for state and local government to maintain high taxes because these taxes will lower our federal taxes. Anyone in a state with low taxes should probably be pissed off at this, because their states do with less revenue while their citizens fork over more to the feds. But presumably those states vote Republican, so who cares? My state votes Democratic, and it's got a lot of people who could really save a lot -- and contribute generously to the Democrats who have tended to us so well.Plus, they vowed to
ADDED: Glenn Reynolds says: "[T]he hassle factor probably does matter some, and programs like Turbo Tax also make increased tax code complexity easier. Should conservatives hate those, too?" It depends on the conservatives. If they are in favor of simplicity, they shouldn't like a program that makes complexity feel like simplicity. But if they are in favor of benefiting red staters, they should love the way it mutes AMT outrage. I used to fill out the AMT form by hand, and it was.... vexing.