How I see it...

Laying in my hammock, sipping an adult beverage, I contemplate the deeper issues and finer points of this world and my life. I reach well informed opinions and share them here. Being mostly Irish, I can argue either side of any issue; but you throw the Swede in there and I become a very stubborn, stoic, stick-to-my-values type of person.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Increasing the tax rate

Obama talks fiscal reform at town hall-style meeting -

Our President wants to raise taxes back to the levels they were during the Clinton Presidency. I think he needs to put his money where his mouth is, personally. The upper tax rate is 35% and the Obama plan is for all "wealthy" people to "pay their fair share" of taxes.

Apparently this "fair share" is just under 27%. That is all our President and his wife paid in taxes this year. I am a firm believer in living and practicing what you preach. Why then, if the rich need to pay more, did they pay less than the full rate? Shouldn't he be setting an example? You would think so. That would take all the wind out of the sails of his detractors on this subject. Like me.

We are in dire straights, financially speaking, in this country and it is time we get the train back on the tracks and running true. We have really let things go to hell in a hand basket by letting our government get out of control. And we are going to have to pay a heavy toll to fix it.

And it doesn't' need to be all that complicated either. We need to do two things: the first being a balanced budget amendment, and the second being a flat tax. Our tax system is unbalanced in a huge way. The top 10% of earners are paying 73% of the taxes now and the bottom 40% of earners are not only NOT paying tax, but are getting back more than they paid in. It would be fair to call this wealth redistribution. It's not a new thing, either.

If everybody paid a simple, flat tax on income earned it would make "tax season" non-existent as well as virtually eliminate a HUGE arm of the government called the IRS. Along with this flat rate, I'd like to see the elimination of all "double" taxation. Many pay a state income tax (I am fortunate to live in a state that doesn't collect this), as well as sales taxes that go to the state, gas taxes ect. But that is a different conversation for a different time. So for now, everybody pays exactly the same percentage of their income in taxes.

One item that would needed to be taken into consideration is how businesses pay taxes. They DO need to pay taxes on their income, but at the same time they need this money to create jobs. I could see a tax credit being applied to all businesses that grow jobs and keep them for at least 10 years. A business could write off, say, 1/10 of a percent of their tax bill per job created that was a full time, benefits paid position for ten years. But at no time would it be more than 15% of their total tax liability. I would also make profit and loss calculations be done on a simple accounting method.

Then to help the flat tax out, we need to balance the budget. Spend no more than we take in. And for a while we need to spend WAY less than we are taking in and get our debt paid down and under control. This could be established by eliminating all government social programs (it would have to be phased out, realistically) and art programs. The elimination of all ear mark and pork barrel spending by making all bills in Congress be single item bills. No attaching money to study chocolate consumption by red heads in Mid-town to a military spending bill. And we need to create a volunteer citizen oversight to keep the government from spending $5000 for toothpicks and $500,000 for toilet seats. Companies caught grossly over billing for simple services will have to answer to the criminal justice system and their principals will serve the time.

Everybody pay their fair share and we don't spend more than we make. We commit to paying down the debt in time. We all tighten our belts and dig in. Businesses and entities all either make it or fail on their own merits (no public funds for businesses, arts, non-profits). If the public wants to use personal, discretionary funds to support these things, then so be it. The government simply pays for national defense, interstate commerce (highways and commerce laws) and limited international functions.

The other thing that we need to do, as I've discussed in this forum before, is to get our jobs back to the US from foreign shores. US companies that outsource jobs and import their goods for sale in this country should pay a HUGE tax fee to do so and I mean 50% or more.

No comments:

Post a Comment