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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raise. Taxes. Dammit. cont...

Oct 8th, 2011

I've been arguing for quite some time that we have to raise taxes dramatically. The rabid devotion within both parties towards maintaining the lowest revenue rates in more than half a century are absurd. Howard Gleckman, of the  the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institutions, sees little reason to hope for better when the best proposal we've gotten, the American Jobs Act, is based around such ridiculous premises as this:

"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s plan to fund a $445 billion stimulus, err, jobs bill with a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires is not all bad. After all, Tax the Rich does make a nice campaign bumper-sticker. But it is mostly bad."

Agreed. Unless and until we restore rates to levels that correspond with sustainable government, we merely hasten our decline and our debt crisis.

"The idea, endorsed today by President Obama, would raise the average tax bill of those making a million or more by $110,000, the Tax Policy Center estimates. Almost nobody else would pay a nickel. What’s wrong with that, you might ask if you don’t happen to make a million. To start, it perpetuates the dangerous myth that we can address our fiscal problems by taxing only a handful of rich people. Unfortunately, as my Tax Policy Center colleagues showed so well a couple of years ago, we can’t. There are not enough of them– so their rates would have to be astronomically high (only about a half-million households will make a million or more in 2013).

Democrats now insist that somebody making $999,000 a year is in the struggling middle-class and needs to be protected from tax increases. It was ridiculous enough when President Obama decided that $200,000 ($250,000 for couples) defined middle class. It was even stranger when GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney adopted that number. Median household income in the U.S. is, um, $60,000. Sorry, but if we are going to get serious about the deficit, people making $200,000 (or even $100,000) have got to help out."

And it is this drop in the bucket from the wealthiest in America that Eric Cantor calls "dead on arrival."

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