Saturday, September 20, 2008

FROM THE “I COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF” FILE

Yesterday’s post from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES came to my attention after I had published WHAT’S THE BUZZ. It is a post that deserves serious attention.
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The post reports “44% of U.S. Taxpayers Could Owe $0” and discusses a recent Fiscal Fact from the Tax Foundation titled “Both Candidates' Tax Plans Will Reduce Millions of Taxpayers' Liability to Zero (or Less)”.
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Kay quotes the TF FF as calculating -
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If all of the Obama tax provisions were enacted in 2009, the number of nonpayers would rise by about 16 million, to 63 million overall, or 44 percent of all tax returns.
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If all of the McCain tax proposals were enacted in 2009, the number of nonpayers would rise by about 15 million, to a total of 62 million overall, or roughly 43 percent of all tax filers
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The growing number of “tax non-payers” is a topic that has concerned the Tax Foundation, and myself as well, for some time now. The Foundation points out that based on IRS statistics for 2006 45.6 million tax filers, which is about one-third of all filers, had no tax liability after claiming all their allowable credits and deductions. "For good or ill this is a dramatic 57 percent increase since 2000 in the number of Americans who pay no personal income taxes." Who says that Dubya's tax breaks were only for the rich?
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Kay speaks for me as well when she comments on the current state of the federal Tax Code -
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Right now, it's a big political goody bag instead of a sensible method to fund a country's operations.
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Dubya deserves credit for appointing the
President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform
{about the only thing he did right in his 8 years- rdf} that came back with some interesting ideas about how to truly reform our tax system. Too bad no one had the political stomach to even give the Panel's suggestions a second look.”
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I agree with the Tax Foundation when it says, "It is time for a serious public discussion of whether it is desirable to have so many Americans disconnected from the cost of government and what the consequences are of using the tax system as a vehicle for social policy."
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A while back I had proposed a different kind of “minimum tax”. I suggested that every American over the age of 18 who is not claimed as a dependent on another return should pay a minimum tax of $100.00. What do you think?

4 comments:

Bruce said...

I think $100.00 is light and should probably be in refection to earnings per.
Meaning or say $10.00 per $1,000.00 earned at a minimum. Or some formula like that. Simple but make them pay.

Robert D Flach said...

Bruce-

The amount is almost immaterial - although you do have a good idea. The point is to make every American citizen a "tax payer" to some extent - as everyone benefits from government.

Actually it is the tax non-payers who probably get proportionately more benefit from the government that those of us who actually pay taxes.

TWTP

Bruce said...

I agree with you 100%. "The point is to make every American citizen a "tax payer" to some extent - as everyone benefits from government."

Kay said...

Robert,
Thanks for the mention and thanks more for getting this issue more attention. We really need to get realisitic about taxes and how we collect them, especially with the financial secotr "rescue" that's putting us deeper in the hole.
Kay