Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some are calling for the abolishment of the IRS and replacing the graduated income tax with a flat tax or some variant of it such as the so-called Fair tax. In my opinion, the graduated, progressive income tax is the fairest tax we have or can have. It taxes income fairly; the more income you have, the more tax you can and should pay. A flat tax or Fair tax is a regressive tax, hitting poor and middle incomes more heavily than the wealthy who are allowed to keep most of their income. I hate paying taxes as much as anyone, but the government requires income and it is best to collect it from those who afford to pay. Even if we abolished the income tax, the IRS would be necessary to administer whatever tax we replace it with.
Some conservatives want to go even further and abolish the so-called death tax, the inheritance tax. That would be a grave mistake. Our democracy depends on preventing the formation of dynasties, such as in Pakistan, where great wealth is permitted to perpetuate itself and the wealthy dominate politics. Louis Brandeis was an associate justice of the US Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939. He wrote that we could have democracy or great concentrations of wealth, but not both at the same time. I agree with that assessment. The US is well on its way to becoming a third world nation of a few rich, many poor and decaying infrastructure. Abolishing the IRS and the graduated income tax would speed that process.
taxes (Photo credit: 401K)
Tax reform will be enacted someday. At this point, I would like to submit a modest proposal. I believe that great concentrations of wealth are destructive to democracy and that the progressive income tax is the fairest tax of them all. Therefore I oppose a flat tax and the elimination of the inheritance (death) tax. However, I am willing to compromise if the GOP will settle for either the flat tax or the retention of the inheritance tax, but not both the flat tax and the elimination of the inheritance tax.
If GOP lawmakers insist on a flat tax, then I propose that the inheritance tax be set at 100% above $1 million. We support a level playing field and this would ensure one, by eliminating inherited wealth. The $1 million could be split among the heirs any way the deceased chose. There would be no escaping the inheritance by setting up charitable foundations. So either a progressive income tax to fund government or a confiscation of wealth upon death to eliminate great concentrations of wealth and preserve our democracy. We must have one or the other tax. Let the GOP choose which they prefer.
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I received a letter today from Steve Forbes, delivered the old- fashioned way, by letter carrier. In that letter was a solicitation for a donation to the Club for Growth. I visited their website, www.clubforgrowth.org and the home page featured a picture of almost all of the GOP candidates for the presidency; it was like looking at the opening lineup for one of their multitude of debates. I decided then and there that if Steve wants to fund the organization, he can do so from his own deep pockets, needing no help from me or anyone else.
He should be very happy because when he ran for the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, he was the sole proponent of the flat tax which most of the GOP candidates now support. In addition, his cover letter rather shrilly decried Obama‘s rush to socialism. He had the nerve to include a form letter for me to sign and return with my contribution. The form letter was addressed to my representative, Jim Matheson, and requested making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing Obamacare. I oppose all that he requested and did not return the letter or make a contribution.
Please see FAIR tax not fair | 999 tax plan