It’s time to get real about taxes

Published 6:52 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

Congress is actively working on tax cuts and changes to the tax code which can put more money in our pockets and reduce the amount of time it takes to do our taxes.

These tax reductions and simplifications can have positive results, but some are either morally wrong or been proven not to produce the claimed positive results. Let’s start with the wrong. When you are $20 trillion in debt how do you justify the “largest tax cuts in history?” The Republican answer is these cuts will stimulate the economy. I agree with that possibility if we are just talking about reducing corporate taxes given they are among the highest in the world. Therefore, a logical case can be made for such actually resulting in job growth and additional tax revenues.

Also being discussed in regard to corporate tax cuts is some type of “tax holiday” with an even lower tax rate to induce U.S. companies to bring back some offshore profits. This was done in 2004 and resulted in $362 billion being brought back to the U.S. so it works.

However, tax cuts for those with incomes of more than $1 million/year give me moral as well as economic problems. As far as the moral, I firmly believe Luke 12:48: “Every one to whom much is given; of him will much be required.” Further let’s face facts and recognize that many people with incomes of over $1 million/year were born into families with benefits most of us did not have, been lucky, benefitted from insider information, committed other illegal acts, had someone promoting them, inherited it and/or hit it rich with little effort.

Yet another point is the highest tax rate since 1981 has already been reduced from 70 percent to 39.6 percent! Additionally, income inequality rose dramatically during President Obama’s eight years and would further increase with a tax reductions for the rich. My final point is rich people will still have a style of living many can only dream of whether or not their taxes are reduced.

My primary economic reason for opposing taxes for the rich being reduced is that during President Reagan’s presidency Trickle-down theory/supply side economics, dubbed Reaganomics, were cited as justifications for reducing taxes on the rich. Ross Perot called it “voodoo economics.” I contend such did not work and offer as one of several proofs that our debt went from $994 million when Reagan took office in 1981 to $2.9 trillion when he left office in 1989.

Instead of reducing taxes on the wealthy I suggest closing unfair loopholes. In that vein, let’s concentrate on tax simplification but do so clearly understanding the “law of unintended consequences.”

Tax simplification has not been done since 1986.  By way of history, income taxes were reintroduced in 1913. At that time, there were 400 pages of IRS codes but that has grown to over 74,000 pages! Do you begin to see why conservatives want to reduce the size of government?

In 2005 Libertarian talk show host Neal Boortz wrote a book titled “The FairTax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS.” The fact that this was seldom discussed in the 2016 Presidential elections I feel proves that this was a massive overcorrection with little understanding of the unintended consequences. Nonetheless, we are overdue for a huge overhaul of our tax code so hopefully this can be done this year.

Some reading the above will challenge my claim of being a conservative. However, my votes on thousands of bills during my 16 years of being an elected representative are my proof statements. Further, I believe that we need to be factual and Congress needs to pass legislation on issues such as the above versus the partisan divide. If you agree, please write your Congressman and US Senators and work with organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and Judicial Watch.