September 28, 2017

At the link, President Trump explains the new GOP tax reform plan, which he insists is targeted to the middle class, not the wealthy. He hopes Democrats will work with him on it. Bear in mind, the details are likely to change, so there’s no sense in getting all apoplectic around any particular plank. Not that that will stop Democrats from having their usual meltdown over “tax cuts for the rich!”

I would suspect that if you could load them up with truth serum, you’d discover that it’s not so much the rate reduction for high-income earners that has them wailing (I won’t say “the rich” because that’s a vague term whose meaning varies by location.) I think it’s likely that they’re panicked over the proposal to do away with the deduction for state and local taxes. For most people, that loss will be more than off-set by big increases in the standard deduction and deductions for dependent children. But it will be a big hit for limousine liberals in high-tax blue states.

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Personally, I’ve always thought it odd that people who demand a more “fair” tax system never mention that the people they think should pay more already pay almost all the taxes. According to Pew Research, those making $250,000 a year or more make up 2.7% of all filers and pay 51.6% of all taxes. Any tax plan that involved tax cuts would almost have to include high-earners because that’s who’s paying most of the taxes.

I hear a lot of lectures from wealthy liberals about how rich people like them don’t pay enough taxes, but they sure do squeal when someone suggests taking away a deduction. They chose to live in blue states; they backed the policies that led to high taxes; why do they expect struggling middle class taxpayers in red states to pick up the slack for their state/local income tax deduction? Come to think of it, if they really think they should pay more, why don’t they? How many wealthy liberals who think they’re not paying enough fill out the 1040-EZ form instead of hiring tax lawyers and CPAs to reduce the amount they pay? Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think anyone should have to pay a penny more than they owe. But for those who loudly proclaim they want to, they can make a voluntary contribution at I bet it’s the least downloaded thing on the Internet.

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If I’m cynical about all this, it’s because I once put it to the test. When I was Governor of Arkansas, I heard a lot of prominent people whining that taxes needed to be raised instead of cutting spending. So I gave them a chance to put up or shut up. They did neither. Every event I attended, I took along envelopes addressed to the “Tax Me More Fund” and asked who’d like one so they could donate money to the state. Not one single hand ever went up. After four years, the fund had drawn 56 donations, totaling $2,076.79. I’ve often wondered whose conscience hurt just enough so that 79 cents eased it. It proved that when most people say “the rich” should pay more taxes, they really mean "anyone who makes a dollar more than I do."

By the way, if you really want a fair tax system, there’s this thing called the “Fair Tax.” Why not look into that?


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Comments 1-8 of 8

  • Ann Longacre

    09/29/2017 10:19 PM

    I like the idea of a federal tax like the state taxes. You would pay more if you spent more. Fair. Equal.

  • John Legate

    09/29/2017 03:28 PM

    It's puzzling why the FAIRtax hasn't been more widely accepted since it has so much going for it. I'm guessing that could be partly due to people not really understanding it, and as a result not realizing the benefit of researching it more. A few years ago I created a spreadsheet showing what the Effective Tax Rate is under the FAIRtax at various annual spending levels. This link is an image of that spreadsheet showing how the FAIRtax results in an equitable and smoothly increasing progressive tax rate structure due to the effect of the Prebate.

  • Dale Creelman

    09/29/2017 02:00 PM

    One thing I always liked about a flat tax, like the Fair Tax, criminals would have to pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains, when they spend it! I wonder what that would amount to?

  • Paul E Avizinis

    09/29/2017 01:10 PM

    The more one knows about FAIR TAX, the more one sees it is the answer to our tax situation. Start making noise about FAIR TAX. Yes, it is based on comsumption. You buy, you pay, even the illegals and the lawmakers and hollywood, etc.

  • tom jeffs

    09/29/2017 10:09 AM


  • Leanna Guse

    09/29/2017 08:37 AM

    Cynthia Florence - no thanks on filing monthly. Nobody is going to take the time and effort to do that. Check out Fair Tax. It's not the same as a flat tax.

  • Cynthia Florek

    09/28/2017 09:03 PM

    A fair tax is a flat tax. If every person, business, organization, etc paid 5% on gross income with no exemptions, loopholes, or excuses on a monthly basis there would be a steady and predictable income stream for the government. Then also tax every purchase of every item another 5% for all entities. And make the filing date to verify that your previous year tax was paid and correct due the month that matches the last digit of your ss# or ein#. That spreads out the filings over the year. The tax code would be about 5 paragraphs, and the form to file would be 5 lines. All the out of work IRS agents and tax peeps could be offered retraining in the skilled trades, border protection, and port authority screening.

  • Robert Hickinbotham

    09/28/2017 04:54 PM

    Why has the Fair Tax Act received so little publicity, and why has Congress never given it consideration? The elegance is in its simplicity, and is based on consumption, not earnings. It eliminates the need for the most onerous branch of government - the IRS. It makes April 15th just another day on the calendar. Oh yes, it eliminates a convoluted and complex tax code that requires CPA's to figure out how much you owe. I, for one, will fully support the FTA if it ever sees the light of day...