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January 14, 2007

IN AN EARLIER POST, I noted Mickey Kaus speculating that the Alternative Minimum Tax is mostly bad because of the hassle. But reading Ann Althouse, I wonder if Turbo Tax isn't a friend of Big Government.

Ann Althouse says it's not the hassle, it's the money:

I use TurboTax, which does the calculations automatically, and the AMT cost me $4900 last year. It's definitely the money!

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,ooo property tax bill.

Althouse explains why liberals should hate the AMT and conservatives should like it: The AMT makes it harder to maintain high state and local taxes.

That's real money. On the other hand, the hassle factor probably does matter some, and programs like Turbo Tax also make increased tax code complexity easier. Should conservatives hate those, too?