We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The question of the Bush Tax cuts 'causing' the deficits, and hence the 'need' to increase taxes on the 'wealthy' is one which Democrats spend many evenings discussing. Clearly, Bush was an insane tax-cutter without any good ideas and caused every problem mankind faces today, and frankly every problem we've faced for the last 40 years. He was just that bad.
However, a non-partisan look at the cuts indicates something quite different. On a standalone basis, taking out all other additional spending programs from the last 11 years, what we find is the tax cuts paid for themselves, and then some. In other words, the issue isn't the cuts. The issue is all the additional spending which took place after the cuts. To be completely honest, and completely fair, not all the spending was by Bush, either. In fact, most of it was voted on with bipartisan support. Very little could be said to be purely Bush-related, let alone Republican-related.
Honesty is a difficult thing in politics. Typically I don't look for anything more than a minimal degree of it, what I prefer is a level of consistency of thought. The Republicans have their own challenges regarding honesty and consistency, but the Democrats have really done a good job of cornering the market on dishonesty and hypocrisy.
I am reflexively in favor of tax cuts and there is no doubt that they were the main driver of the huge recovery (there was very little, if any, reduction in regulations which might have also increased economic activity), but the Bush cuts reduced the tax roles and shoved more of the burden on the wealthy. But what we really need, and what Reagan knew, is that we need to lower rates and broaden the base. With so many people not paying income taxes, it makes that more difficult to do.
Flat taxes have many benefits.
First - transparency. It's easy to figure out what you're paying, and pretty much what anyone else is paying. No more worries about Romney or anyone else producing a tax return to see if they did what Oliver Wendell Holmes said is every American's duty - avoid paying taxes.
Second - Ease of use. In business, I tell my teams that there are 3 things that drive a purchase. Price, Quality and Ease of Use. All things being equal, Ease of Use is usually the thing that makes the decision.
Third - Fairness. Despite what people think about the 'rich should pay more' concept, a flat tax in fact does make the rich pay more. It also make everyone who earns a penny have a stake in the system, which is as it should be. You earn $1,000? Then you pay $170 with a 17% flat tax. The rich will pay $170,000 on a million dollar salary. You can institute other taxes to make it more progressive, such as luxury sales taxes and what not, but the basic income tax is 'fair'.
Fourth - Reducing the workload and government impact. The IRS is ridiculously overstaffed AND overworked. In Pennsylvania, when I was younger, we had a flat tax. I filled out a postcard and sent it in. I don't know if it's still in place, but all I know is it was easy to figure out, fill out, and implement. How many IRS agents will be needed to do extensive audits with a flat tax? Very few. Major cost savings.
Finally - it's a reality check. Right now, the average person pays a 17% income tax, after loopholes, etc. If you're really good at figuring things out, you can go lower than this, as Romney and Warren Buffet have found ways to do. I have no problem with them using the laws to their advantage. But what if we change the laws so they really pay more...but only as much on a percentage basis as anyone else? We'd collect much more revenue.