Let's be real here. Everyone in America is going to have to pay a higher tax rate over the next 10-years if we are going to be able to thrive as a nation through the 2020s. The economists know it... the budget experts know it... the policy specialists know it... military leadership knows it... even our trade competitors and enemies know it. The only group out there that knows this to be a fact but won't talk about it is partisan politicians. They are afraid of losing elections by telling the truth to their voter bases.
So they way it works now is that some partisans tell their supporters that they will cut federal taxes every session, (or only ever raise them "over my dead body" no matter what happens.) Others try to incite their voting blocs by trying to use taxation as a punishment of some kind against classes or groups or businesses they want their supporters to resent (again, for votes). None of that is effective, logical or helpful in addressing the critical needs of the federal government and our national community right now.
Okay, I know it is not politically wise to deliver bad news to potential voters but this campaign is about truth, so here goes: We need to raise revenues right now or there will be hell to pay in America economically, socially and politically in the next five years. And the fact is, everyone, everyone is going to have to pitch in to address this challenge to the nation. Politicians are lying to you for short term electoral goals if they say otherwise.
So how do we do that, raise revenues, fairly and without destroying the economy?
I believe that when all the calculations are done, the rates each citizen or business pays in taxes should indeed be in essence a "flat rate" across the board with only logical deductions such as state and local taxes: but there's a catch. I believe the rate each of us pays should not be calculated according to the amount of income we make, but rather by the equal extent of the quality of life sacrifice we each commit in order to share the responsibility for national government services. Here's what I mean: A 10% or 15% tax applied by the feds on my very modest income in 2020 will have a much bigger impact on my quality of life than the same tax (or even, say, a 25% income tax) would have on Jeff Bezos's everyday quality of life opportunities. But a reasonable, say 5% impact on my quality of life expectations and an equal 5% on his quality of life? Especially with no deductions allowed? Now you are talking about fair and equitable taxation that will be effective in raising revenues overall. And this can be accomplished without being unfair or unreasonable to any taxpayer. So let's stop talking just numbers and paycheck deduction when we set graduated tax rates: Let's do a "flat tax" for all no matter one's income but at rates that realistically measure the equal and fair extent that each one of us must sacrifice through taxation every year to enable the nation as a whole to thrive.
Finally, after we have made tax rates more truly equitable in everyday impact across income brackets, we then have to rethink the notion of deductions in the federal tax process. The simple fact is that the partisan taxation model that favors illogical tax loopholes for VIP donors, special deals for special interests, and sweetheart deductions for key political allies in return for votes, is not sustainable.
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