Judging by current events, all of this will be irrelavent very soon.
You mean like how the Republicans don't want to raise taxes, and the Democrats don't want to cut anything, and we've all decided it's politically acceptable to cut deductions so we're not "raising taxes" but we're still making you pay
Disastrous outcomes will come from this. Deductions and credits are serious economics. You thought raising or lowering taxes was a big economic factor? If I give you $500/year to bike to work 2 days a week (104 days total)--with amortization (say 1/13 for every 8 days)--you're damn well going to bike to work 2 days a week if you're within reach. This will encourage people to move closer to work, to drive less, and thus to save on maintenance, save on gas, possibly save on insurance, and extend the life of their car (since it's not being driven as much, so incurs less wear and tear). These are all major economic factors, bigger than $500, and much bigger than the damage done by the tax to pay those $500.
That's what cutting deductions impacts. Maybe we'll say ... you only get to deduct $5k/year off 401(k) instead of $15.5k, and maybe $1000 or nothing for IRA. Do you think anyone's going to save more than $6000/year for retirement if you cut the deductions down from $20.5k to $6k? How about deducting your mortgage interest off? (Buying a house is such a bad deal this is probably worth cutting, just to encourage people to rent) Student loan interest?
My major political position is influencing economics through propaganda and careful tax credits and deductions. That's what I want to do
: get into office, figure out what's good for you, and lay bait
to get people to do it. If they find the idea entirely abhorrent, the tax impact would be null; if people take advantage of the tax incentives, then the tax burden in general is shared amongst the population. If you want to use the stick instead of the carrot, either A) popularize whatever you're crediting (others who don't participate get taxed more heavily as the payout rate becomes higher); or B) just levy a tax on the undesirable behavior (like cigarettes, but you see how that works out).
Sadly, everyone on this planet has failed basic economic theory.