Taxes
To help eliminate our budget/debt problems, the debate includes taxation, increase taxes or decrease taxes the left and right will say respectively. Both will say we have a need for a new tax code, but will not agree on a proposal for a new code. Everyone who manages a checkbook has seen budget problems before and knows how to correct it - reduce expenses and increase income. Everything else we here about this subject beyond these two facts is just noise and should be ignored. The political left and right cannot agree on how to correct this problem. Doing something is also better than doing nothing, which is what this stalemate is giving us now. The left's solution to our problem is to increase taxes on the rich to increase income. Currently the top 20% of income earners pays 80% of the federal tax burden. So do we want them to pay 100%? 110%? 120%? Maybe just write the check every year for the entire cost of government, whatever it is? Clearly this is not the solution. You have also heard that in the booming 1950's the top tax rate was 90% so decreasing taxes for growth is false. First, it is true that in the 1950's top tax rates were 90%, but no one paid it. Second, marginal tax rates are a better comparative statistic and are much higher today than in the 1950s. Third, the statement is oversimplified, incomplete and the conclusion is wrong, as proven in the 1980s. The left also consistently disparages the Bush Tax Cuts, as causing income inequality and the deficits we currently enjoy. Yet these tax policies actually reduced taxes at all income levels. Plus, when faced with a chance to end them, the left extended the cuts as a positive factor on the economy. The right wants us to reduce spending and taxes, which is also a poor solution in a recessionary economy. But the truth is we must do both (reduce expenses and increase income), we must do it now and it will not be easy. Untouchable entitlements are the problem and must be restructured. Adding another entitlement, Obamacare, to this mix just makes the problem worse. All the political hot air outside these facts is simply a distraction from the difficult but obvious answer. As to a new tax code - a must. The current tax code is over 60,000 pages long! A 2012 report estimated that it took 6.1 billion hours preparing taxes. What a waste. See the 2017 Income Tax tables for your information.

Now, Tax Reform Gets Real

12/24/17
By Kimberley A. Strassel,
from The Wall Street Journal,
12/21/17:

The left and the press foretold disaster for the middle class. Such claims will be tested.

In the wake of last year’s election, a humiliated press corps was forced to reassess, to explain how it had gotten the presidential race so monumentally wrong. Conclusions: It had been too blinded by its own biases, too sheltered from Middle America. It apologized. It promised to do better. Or not. Yahoo News: “Meet some victims of the Trump tax bill.” Washington Post: “10 Reasons Democrats think the tax bill will be a political loser for Trump’s GOP.” New York Times: “In Tax Overhaul, Trump Tries to Defy Economic Odds.” Business Insider: “Americans have already made up their minds about the tax bill—and it looks brutal for the GOP.” To read all this coverage, you’d be justified in believing that the entire Republican Party had been hit with a stupid stick. Its members united to jack up the taxes of millions of middle-income voters, throw the country into recession, and saddle today’s toddlers with a future debt crisis—all to enable the transfer of tax plunder to fat-cat donors. And not only did it pass this colossally idiotic policy, it did so enthusiastically, in full view of the public—guaranteeing a 2018 GOP midterm wipeout. What dimwits! This is the Democratic line, and the media is embracing it. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi bet that the GOP would fail to enact tax reform, so they pressed their members to boycott negotiations. Instead, Republicans are delivering bigger paychecks and the prospect of accelerated economic growth, and not a single Democrat can take credit. The Democratic Party’s only path is therefore to spin an obvious GOP victory into a disaster. The press, with all its biases and insularity, once again is all in, with another attack on reality. Whatever happens, the anti-tax-reform campaign is a reminder to Republicans of the unprecedented hostility they face in the age of Trump. The best way to triumph in this war of spin is to produce real policy results that help real people—as they just did with tax reform, no matter what you read to the contrary.

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