Modest proposals.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Liability, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    Until and unless we can pass a Constitutional Amendment to rescind the 16th Amendment, it is high time we revise the way we engage in the income tax.

    1. On whatever date the legislation becomes effective, all deductions of any kind for anyone and everyone get eliminated. Period.

    2. Since a totally flat tax is probably unfair to the lowest income earners (i.e., they can ill afford to pay very much on a very low income), we will probably have to accept some kind of sliding scale. I propose a four step gradient. The lowest income earners pay 1%. Period. The slightly more able pay no more than 5%. The majority of tax payers pay no more than 15 to 20%. The very rich (however that gets defined) pay no more than 25%.
    In time of national emergency -- such as a declared war -- there may be a surcharge amounting to 1/2 of the scheduled taxes, above.

    3. Double taxation shall be eliminated. Therefore, corporations shall pay no income tax. Period.

    4. NO (without exception other than the national emergency contingency mentioned above) budget or spending bill shall be lawful that does not meet the strict test of a balanced budget.

    5. Speaking of balanced budgets -- all future budgets MUST provide first for paying down a portion of the outstanding debt including all interest due for each year. Only after that part if addressed may any budget bill proceed to provide for any other spending of any kind.

    6. Back to the taxation issue. Henceforth, no tax "plans" or alterations to any tax plans shall be lawful if the forms necessary to complete one's tax reporting requirements (for individuals) amount to more than the size of one post card.

    7. The new national tax code must be confined to one volume of no more than 50 pages.
     
  2. eflatminor
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    eflatminor Classical Liberal

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    Good luck with that! We can't even get DC to accept the idea that any reduction to their planned rate of INCREASED spending is reasonable. You think they'll go for an actually balanced budget...as in spending only what we take in? That'll be the day!

    Anyone remember PAYGO? How's that working out for us?

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruFX2HQa2lI]Campbell talks about PAYGO Sham - YouTube[/ame]
     
  3. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    Well, I DID call it a set of modest proposals.

    That kind of thing, nevertheless, is what we urgently need.

    I once thought that this is more or less the general direction the Tea Party folks hoped to steer the nation.

    Now? I dunno.

    We need to stir the pot, though.
     
  4. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    JMO, I'd make the following changes (in blue)

    1. On whatever date the legislation becomes effective, all deductions of any kind for anyone and everyone get eliminated. Period.

    If it was me, I'd give the basic exemptions for you and your spouse, plus dependents but only up to a certain number, like 5 or 6. You wanna have 10 or 12 kids, fine, but you don't get a tax break for all of 'em.

    2. Since a totally flat tax is probably unfair to the lowest income earners (i.e., they can ill afford to pay very much on a very low income), we will probably have to accept some kind of sliding scale. I propose a four step gradient. The lowest income earners pay 1%. Period. The slightly more able pay no more than 5%. The majority of tax payers pay no more than 15 to 20%. The very rich (however that gets defined) pay no more than 25%.
    In time of national emergency -- such as a declared war -- there may be a surcharge amounting to 1/2 of the scheduled taxes, above.

    I'd have a sliding scale from 1% at the beginning to a maximum of 20%. No tax breaks for capital gains or donations to tax shelters or foundations.

    3. Double taxation shall be eliminated. Therefore, corporations shall pay no income tax. Period.

    I see no reason not to tax corporations at a modest 15%, for income earned here. No taxes for income earned offshore, hopefully they'll bring that money home. No tax breaks, no loopholes, no deductions.

    4. NO (without exception other than the national emergency contingency mentioned above) budget or spending bill shall be lawful that does not meet the strict test of a balanced budget.

    I would stipulate that any emergency spending bill would have to pass both Houses by a 2/3 majority vote, otherwise the bill must be paid for somehow. And not by future taxes either, money has to be shifted from some other spending.

    5. Speaking of balanced budgets -- all future budgets MUST provide first for paying down a portion of the outstanding debt including all interest due for each year. Only after that part if addressed may any budget bill proceed to provide for any other spending of any kind.

    There are some years where you just can't run a surplus, for any number of reasons. I'd be happy enough with the rules I specified in #4.

    6. Back to the taxation issue. Henceforth, no tax "plans" or alterations to any tax plans shall be lawful if the forms necessary to complete one's tax reporting requirements (for individuals) amount to more than the size of one post card.

    Well, I dunno. Some small business owners and investors may need enough space to declare all their transactions, expenses, and so on. Definitely oughta be much simpler and easier to file though.

    7. The new national tax code must be confined to one volume of no more than 50 pages.

    Doubt if you could do an adequate job of specifying the details in just 50 pages. Right idea though.
     
  5. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    Wiseacre:

    I am fine with debating each and any point.

    And, clearly, there would have to be other things addressed (like, for example, setting up tariffs that correspond at least with the ones imposed on our goods in other nations).

    But, just for starters, the virtue of my proposal (point 1) is that there can be no more whining and complaining about unfair tax breaks or shelters for those (evil) rich folks if there are simply no deductions of any kind. And that does lead to simplicity, too. Currently lacking in our "system."
     
  6. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Amending the Constitution to repeal the 16th Amendment would create a Constitutional crisis, as there would be conflicting case law on the issue with regard to the status of an income tax as a direct tax, subject to apportionment.

    Would Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Company (1895) be reinstated as the law of the land with regard to apportionment, prohibiting an income tax, or would Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad (1916) be acknowledged as the guiding precedent, where the Court ruled that the 16th Amendment was a clarification of Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution, in essence stating the 16 Amendment was ‘Constitutional.’

    From the end to of the Civil War until 1913, there were laws, Supreme Court rulings, and indeed finally an Amendment to the Constitution addressing the issue of income tax, much of which you’re likely not unaware of. Consequently, and with all due respect, your proposal is naïve reactionaryism – it doesn’t comport with a modern 21st Century Nation. However attractive the fantasy of returning America to an idealized past, it frankly will never happen, nor should it.
     
  7. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    We managed BEFORE the 16th. We could manage again.

    Furthermore, most of my post is premised on the assumption that we need to act PRIOR to any prospective (possible but improbable) repeal.

    There is (in reality) no valid reason why we should be said to "need" an income tax.

    That's pure bullshit.
     
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  8. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    I am God awful tired of hearing about "fair share", which to me simply means give the gov't more than you're giving now. I hope the next Congress and President actually reforms the tax code and simplifies it big time. Won't be holding my breath tho.

    About tariffs and other forms of protectionism, it's a tricky subject IMHO. Essentially, when a foreign country enacts a tariff, they are cutting their own throats economically speaking. Same as we would be if we reciprocated. It's like a self-inflicted inflation of prices, shoes that used to be $20 are now $25 or $30, whatever. Which means you now have $5 or $10 dollars less to spend on something else. Protectionism is generally a very bad idea.
     
  9. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    We got by (before the 16th) in taxing commerce. High time we went back to it. The 16th opened a door (and then followed by the 17th), that gave the Federal Government extraordinary powers.

    Neither has worked and high time to dispose of BOTH of those amendments, and relinquish power to the States, and the people where it belongs.
     
  10. Liability
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    Liability Locked Account. Supporting Member

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    I do not disagree very much with anything you said.

    EVERY blessed thing I proposed would be met with a MOUNTAIN of opposition.

    The difficulty in achieving it is not a good argument, however, not to try.

    The problems we have are so massive, that inaction is itself criminal.
     
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