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SINCE WE HAD SO MUCH FUN…

Filed at 5:36 am under by dcobranchi

discussing health insurance, does anyone care to comment on Charlie Rangel’s tax reform proposal? At first glance, it seems like a winner to me. It kills the dreaded AMT and makes the code slightly more progressive.

The Republicans are (predictably) screaming that it’s the “Mother of all tax hikes.” I just don’t see it. It’s revenue neutral. Will some folks pay more? Sure. Every change in the tax code has winners and losers.

21 Responses to “SINCE WE HAD SO MUCH FUN…”


Comment by
COD
October 26th, 2007
at 2:02 pm

I don’t see any benefit to continuing the shell game with the current tax code. It needs to be scrapped and replaced with something that reduces the complexity about 95%


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 26th, 2007
at 2:44 pm

Such as…?


Comment by
COD
October 26th, 2007
at 3:09 pm

A much flatter tax with minimal deductions.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 26th, 2007
at 3:26 pm

Federal taxes, including Social Security, are quite flat already. If you want a flat income tax, it would end up being ridiculously regressive unless SS was uncapped. That’s never going to happen as long as GWB is occupying the WH.


Comment by
COD
October 26th, 2007
at 4:00 pm

Well duh. Rangel isn’t introducing this because he expects tax reform next year. He is doing it to make it a election year issue.

Federal taxes are only flat because of the deductions. The typical person in the 33% category actually gets his effective tax rate down well below 20% after mortgage deductions, kid, etc. I say just make the rate 10%, or whatever, and eliminate all the game playing enabled by the tax code.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 26th, 2007
at 4:15 pm

Fine. Just uncap SS, too. And tax capital gains at the same rate. And carried interest, too.


Comment by
Rob
October 26th, 2007
at 4:21 pm

At a 10,000 ft level, what do we all think about govt. using taxes to shape and mold society?

You like Americans to own homes? Have the morgage interest credit. You want them to save for retirement? Make IRA’s deductible (or Roth IRA’s tax-free upon withdrawl). You think wealth accumulation and generational transfer is evil? Tax the crap out of big inheritances. You think it’s rich folks’ duty to help America’s poor? Make the rich pay higher percentages of tax.

I hesistate to touch business tax breaks, because we’re not agreed on what the point is or how much it helps or hurts. But basically, the enacters of further complications to tax law figure they’re helping somebody, somehow.

Should social molders have taxes as a tool in their belt? I don’t think any of us have ever lived in a society where they didn’t, so I’m wondering if anyone is even qualified to give an answer.

Rob


Comment by
COD
October 26th, 2007
at 4:34 pm

Do we get a mortgage deduction because of some higher altruistic good, or because a builder long ago convinced his congressman in dollars that it’d be good for business? Every single thing you listed may be good for society, but they are all definitely good for certain people that have a financial interest in influencing govt to keep their special favors in the system.

I want that influence out of the system. The only way to do it is to remove the financial incentives. Everybody pays the same flat rate, you do your taxes on a one page form, submit electronically, and the economy unleashes billions in productivity that are now locked up in trying to avoid paying taxes.


Comment by
don
October 26th, 2007
at 4:47 pm

“Everybody pays the same flat rate, you do your taxes on a one page form, submit electronically, and the economy unleashes billions in productivity that are now locked up in trying to avoid paying taxes.”

With a true flat tax, many people wouldn’t even need to file a tax form at all. The employer would just withhold at the flat rate and that would be the end of it. Those self-employed or with unearned income would have to file, but like you say, it could be a simple one-page form. The size of the IRS would be reduced bucketloads.

I’d support a true flat tax.


Comment by
don
October 26th, 2007
at 4:48 pm

There’s too much agreement going on in this thread. Somebody say something controversial…


Comment by
JJ Ross
October 26th, 2007
at 6:49 pm

Sorry don — I agree too!


Comment by
COD
October 26th, 2007
at 7:27 pm

Yankees suck. Oh wait, that’s not controversial 😉


Comment by
JJ Ross
October 26th, 2007
at 8:44 pm

Sorry Chris, you *know* I won’t argue with that!


Comment by
Evil HR Lady
October 26th, 2007
at 9:06 pm

I thought you used to be a Libertarian


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 26th, 2007
at 9:30 pm

Yeah, but I grew up. 🙂


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 26th, 2007
at 9:32 pm

And speaking of politics and baseball, Giuliani is the worst panderer in history. In NH the other day the life-long Yankees fan said he was going to root for the Sox. No Yankees fan can ever root for the Red Sox. Just can’t happen.

The New York Post re-named him Judas Giuliani.


Comment by
JJ Ross
October 26th, 2007
at 10:38 pm

OTOH, I heard a soundbite of Rudy on the radio the other day saying he and Hillary were both Yankees fans, except he’d grown up in NYC rooting for them, whereas she claims to have become a Yankees fan growing up in CHICAGO! Then he said the same thing about her, that you said about him — just can’t happen. 🙂


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 27th, 2007
at 8:08 am

Just shows Rudy doesn’t know baseball. She’s a Cubs fan. Therefore, by definition, she hates the White Sox. Makes perfect sense to root for the team that won the American League pennant almost every year, thwarting the hopes of the enemy White Sox.


Comment by
COD
October 27th, 2007
at 8:23 am

I agree on Rudy. Politicians should really just stay away from sports. They usually just make asses of themselves when they try to connect with us common folk over sports.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 27th, 2007
at 3:53 pm

Getting back on topic– Does the “Mother of All Tax Hikes” make any sense at all? And can we please kill once and for all the “Mother of All xxx” phraseology?


Comment by
COD
October 27th, 2007
at 4:28 pm

No way, that phrase works with the same people that think the gays are on the warpath to get us all.