My tax plan

Herman Cain has labeled the existing tax code a "ten-million-word mess." I agree.
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Herman Cain has labeled the existing tax code a “ten-million-word mess.” I agree.

Personally, I’m ready to say yes to a radical simplification of the tax code, but no to the flat tax. Flat tax advocates (including Gov. Rick Perry, who released his big optional flat tax proposal Tuesday) always solder the simplicity and the flatness together. But there’s no reason we can’t have the one without the other.

With his gift for fun phrases, Herman Cain has labeled the existing tax code a “ten-million-word mess.” I agree. Nobody knows what-all is in there and a great deal of it was lobbied in by special interests. Tear it up. Fine with me. Start over with no deductions or tax credits and just a basic exemption tied to the number of dependents in the household.

Treat all kinds of income equally. That includes investment income. Righties have developed a whole religion around the idea that investment income, which already receives preferential treatment compared to wage income, shouldn’t be taxed at all. The “double taxation” canard should be laughed out of court.

The Ink-Stained-Wretch Plan (ISWP) would be the ultimate simplification. If it’s income, it’s subject to income tax, and all forms of income would be treated equally in that regard.

But there’s no reason that you can’t have three to five brackets so that the wealthy pay a higher rate on their income above a certain level. Well, maybe there is a reason, which is that as soon as you introduce the principle of progressivity into the equation, a lot of righties lose interest in simplification. Funny how that works.

Once you do away with all those deductions and credits, you could certainly lower the rates from their current levels and still raise more revenue than the current tax code does. Yes, more revenue to reduce the deficit, eventually balance the budget and ultimately start to pay down some of the national debt. For starters, let’s set an interim goal of getting the debt down below 50 percent of GDP.

During the Reagan era, the definition of a “fiscal conservative” morphed. It used to mean someone who favored a balanced budget. Now it means someone who favors tax cuts in all circumstances despite their deficit impact and especially tax cuts for the rich. I’m a serious deficit/debt hawk and want my tax plan to help us get on a fiscally sustainable course.

I noticed that Perry didn’t emphasize that his version of the flat tax would explode the deficit. That is pretty amazing. His plan should not get serious consideration until he puts out a serious deficit/debt impact statement that doesn’t rely on pixie dust.

Of course, I’m not really qualified …
…to have a tax plan of my own. But before I finish pretending that I am, let me mention a few talking points in favor of my stupid idea, including some for conservatives and some for liberals.

The ISWP is a freedom plan. Conservatives should like it because it would greatly reduce the level of government intervention in your daily life. All of those deductions and credits basically amount to the government giving you incentives to do this and not do that because of the tax treatment.

The ISWP is progressive. Liberals should like it because the basic logic of all tax deductions is inherently regressive. If I’m rich and fortunate enough to be paying at the current top marginal rate of 35 percent (taxable income above $379,151 in the current table), for every dollar I give to charity (and every dollar I pay in mortgage interest, and same for every other dollar I spend for something deductible) the tax code “reimburses” me (so to speak) with 35 cents. If you pay at the 15 percent marginal rate (up to $34,500 for an individual on the current table) you get only a 15 cent kickback from the tax code for every deductible dollar you spend. How is that fair?

Herman Cain should love it because it is bold, transparent, fair, simple, efficient and several other adjectives.

Flat taxers love to talk about how great it would be to simplify the tax code dramatically so that you wouldn’t have to spend days or weeks managing your receipts and wouldn’t have to fire a tax accountant. The ISWP would do that too. The complexity of tax preparation has little to do with the existence of brackets and would add only a couple of lines to the postcard-sized tax forms. I do worry about jobs for those now toiling in the tax preparer industry, which must surely be one of the few growth industries in our country in recent years.

Last three points
I know my plan would have to be phased in. The tax code is so deeply enmeshed in the current economy and in the earning and spending habits of Americans to do it all at once.

I know that tax deductions do incentivize all sorts of socially desirable behavior — giving to charity for example. And some people who favor a radical simplification would nonetheless prefer to retain certain key deductions. I prefer a clean break with tax code incentivization, which will eventually lead us back to where we started. My preference would be to use some of the additional revenue that the Black plan would generate to mitigate the damage in areas of greatest need with direct subsidies. But we can talk.

Lastly, we’ve almost done this before. The (Bradley-Gephardt) Tax Reform Act of 1986 was a major simplification that greatly reduced the number of tax brackets and eliminated a zillion or so tax preferences. Reagan signed it into law. And then we set about recomplicating the tax code and have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

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Comments (36)

  1. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 10/27/2011 - 09:50 am.

    The republican base seems to treat the tax code like they do most of the government- it’s evil, too big, get rid of it– but don’t you dare touch the parts of it I use.

    Same thing here- make it simple! But keep the mortgage deduction, charitable giving deduction, education credits, home-energy credits…

    Ultimately, the tax code will stay complicated as long as money buys access- there’s a reason corporations get the tax laws they want- they have the deepest pockets.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/27/2011 - 09:57 am.

    Some irony in a former lobbyist (Herman Cain) calling for cleaning up the tax code, since it’s people like him who are responsible for most of the special interest loop holes in the first place.

  3. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 10/27/2011 - 10:15 am.

    Excellent plan, Eric, of course it is totally imposibile. No more so than Cain’s 9-9-9 or Perry’s non-flat, non plan, but still imposibile.
    All those rent seeking donations to political candidates would be severely reduced in value. Why give millions to candidates who are unable to reciprocate with tax breaks?

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/27/2011 - 10:26 am.

    “I do worry about jobs for those now toiling in the tax preparer industry”…..don’t worry Eric, you can just defer that issue to Michelle. After all, she has all kinds of experience in the tax industry.

  5. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/27/2011 - 10:51 am.

    Eric, I like your idea but I also agree with comments # 1 and #2. Also, one thing I learned in my tax course was that “income” is not always “income” as you might think of it, i.e. cash or a check for a week’s wages, but comes in many forms. For example, if I owe you $100 and you sell me your house for $100 less than the price, that’s income. The law books are full of decisions where the word “income” is examined. The tax code takes some of these decisions and adds or subtracts from them in some ways.

    Also, I don’t know that the Bradley-Gephardt plan simplified the tax code as i understand it. It did reduce the progressivity of the code. I think that was a mistake. The tax incentivization part that you object to works best with the higher brackets. I think that is the one of the features of our present system that could really be improved. Your example with the charity deductions illustrates that. but apply that same logic to business deductions or tax credits. If you get to keep 70% of the profit invested in a particular concern, isn’t that better than 35%? So much of the code is riddled with “loopholes” given out as favors that supposedly provide incentives but really are paybacks for things people are already doing or would do anyway.

  6. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 10/27/2011 - 11:16 am.

    I’ll see your tax plan and raise you with another. The transaction tax has the same problems with unemployed tax preparers, but seems to offer the best of everything else. A .03% tax on all transactions will collect as much as we do now and in a very fair yet progressive way. Explanation here http://www.APTtax.com/

  7. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/27/2011 - 11:28 am.

    Otherwise known as the IRS.

  8. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/27/2011 - 11:47 am.

    Your outline is sound, in my opinion. It has the advantages of requiring that a minimum number of details need to be filled in: rates and rate break points and the phase-in period for elimination of certain deductions are the two that leap to mind. Home interest and charitable contributions are the first to come to mind for a phase-in. Unfortunately, every lobbyist in the country will cry out for a phase-in of his or her client’s favorite deduction or credit as well.

    My additional two cents:

    It wouldn’t hurt if everyone paid something in federal income tax, even if it’s 1% at the bottom of the economic ladder. ($100 on $10,000 or less than $.30 a day.) The revenue might not be significantl, but it would go some way in increasing the perception that the tax burden is being borne by all of us. (See Ed Lotterman’s column in today’s PPress for more on who’s actually paying taxes.)

    A more fundamental reason for eliminating the charitable contribution deduction is that there’s no reason any of use should be compelled to indirectly subsidize any organization to which we would not otherwise contribute, whether it is a church, a private school, or any other cause. It’s unavoidable when it comes to government expenditures, but there’s no justification for it in this context, unless we’re prepared to let government decide which donations to which organization will be deductible. I’m not.

    I’d like to extend that notion to the elimination of the deduction at the state level, as well as the elimination of the property tax exemption here in Minnesota, which is simply a tax expenditure at the local level. (It’s a particularly painful one here in St. Paul, where approximately one-third of our real estate is tax exempt, either as a charitable non-profit or as government property.)

    Time to come out of my opium den and back to reality.

  9. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/27/2011 - 12:00 pm.

    A belated thought:

    Tax deductions obviously affect the market; they’re intended to do so.

    I’d like to hear an economist’s take on whether they can also increase costs. It seems to me that the availability of tax credits reduces suppliers’ need to be efficient and/or increases their opportunities to charge more for goods or services. Two areas that come to mind are energy saving products and adoption, for which we currently grant large tax credits, regardless of the circumstances of the adoption. Adoption costs for U.S. citizens have soared, domestically and internationally, since the tax credit was introduced. I can’t help but believe that the credits have simply increased the cost based on “what the market will bear”.

    A summary of the adoption credit:

    An eligible child must be under 18 years old, or be physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. The adoption credit or exclusion cannot be taken for a child who is not a United States citizen or resident unless the adoption becomes final. In the case of an adoption of a special-needs child, you may be eligible for a certain amount of credit or exclusion regardless of actual expenses paid or incurred.

    Adoption Tax Credit Amounts

    2013: $5,000 or $6,000 for a special needs child (projected)
    2012: at least $12,170 (will be indexed for inflation), non-refundable
    2011: $13,360 (will be indexed for inflation), refundable
    2010: $13,170, refundable
    2009: $12,150, non-refundable
    2008: $11,650, non-refundable
    2007: $11,390, non-refundable
    2006: $10,960, non-refundable

    Adoption Tax Credit Phase-out Ranges

    2011: $185,210 – $225,210
    2010: $182,520 – $222,520
    2009: $182,180 – $222,180
    2008: $174,730 – $214,730
    2007: $170,820 – $210,820
    2006: $164,410 – $204,410

  10. Submitted by Howard Salute on 10/27/2011 - 12:11 pm.

    While most agree they dislike the current tax system, it is difficult to change a system that drives so many sectors of the econmomy. And no one knows for sure the unintended consequences of change. And…there are always unintended consequences.

  11. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/27/2011 - 12:25 pm.

    Another question for that economist:

    To what extent did the mortgage interest deduction contribute to the housing bubble and the use of home equity loans which have helped put people underwater?

  12. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 10/27/2011 - 12:26 pm.

    Eric, great article, but your plan is greatly lacking.

    First, it does not address the real problem – Government spending. I thought liberals are in favor of a “comprehensive approach?” Just addressing the tax issue (everyone is in favor of simplification) and not addressing the huge growth in government spending is not a solution, it compounds the problem.

    Your criticism of “exploding the deficit” is hollow. Where have you been the last 3 years? Amy K promised to lower the deficit, but the deficit has exploded since she has set foot in Washington. Mark Dayton wanted to grow government at a 17% rate. Of course, you were not critical of that growth. However, when it comes to raising taxes – you explode with greed.

    Once again you describe yourself as a “deficit/debt hawk.” Your failure to address the real problem (government sending) proves to me you are not a deficit/debt hawk, but more of a tax and spend liberal.

    What % of the GDP should we be spending on government?

    Treating “capital gains” as regular income is a disaster for private sector growth.

  13. Submitted by Rich Crose on 10/27/2011 - 12:31 pm.

    I like it. You’ve tackled the easy part.

    Now what’s your plan for corporate taxes?

    That is where the other 9,999,000 words are in the tax code.

  14. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 10/27/2011 - 12:31 pm.

    Capital gains should be taxed at 80%. This is where most of these jokers have made a killing and destroyed our economy because of it.

    There is absolutely no reason you should get a huge break for doing no work at all. This would have the added disincentive of wanting to buy stocks. When people can’t make as much money on stocks, maybe it will cause companies to think twice about firing 20,000 workers to please the shareholders.

    Maybe that 80% would be significantly relaxed for gains made on retirement accounts WHEN or AFTER you retire.

  15. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/27/2011 - 12:45 pm.

    When even the world’s oldest and largest Marxist society has given up the anti-capitalist progressive tax rates for a flat tax, why does the American Left still cling to an antiquated and unfair tax code that charges higher RATES in addition to the higher taxes already charged by virtue of higher income???

    Look, the bottom line is that the income tax is immoral because it taxes a man’s labor, counterproductive because it taxes desired behavior, and inefficient for funding the cost of government because it requires the wage earner to calculate how much he owes the government and is easily fudged.

    The fairest way to collect taxes to fund the government, not to incentive behavior or to impose other social engineering, but to collect money to run the government, is a consumption tax.

    The benefits include:
    1) Taxing everyone. Everyone should contribute something to the cost of government and billions are lost because not everyone files income taxes but everyone buys stuff.

    2) Taxing the rich. For those whose objective is to stick it to rich people, this is the tax you want. They spend a lot more money than you do on really expensive items.

    3) It’s fair and moral because it taxes consumption, not labor.

  16. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 10/27/2011 - 03:13 pm.

    #15- “It’s fair and moral because it taxes consumption, not labor.”

    Fairness and morality are apparently in the eye of the beholder.

    I don’t think it’s fair or moral that a person making 10,000 a year should pay a consumption tax. They are getting by on the bare minimum, they need every penny of that 10k to stay afloat. Plus, they already contribute to society via sales tax, fees, gas taxes, etc. Asking such a person to take a few percent off of a budget that is barely sufficient to survive is not my idea of morality.

  17. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/27/2011 - 03:13 pm.

    Dennis–
    The really rich spend a lot smaller proportion of their total income than you do.

  18. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/27/2011 - 03:39 pm.

    “I don’t think it’s fair or moral that a person making 10,000 a year should pay a consumption tax.”

    I don’t think it’s fair that those you use a disproportionate share of public assistance, education, police, medical emergency, court and incarceration costs should pay nothing for it.

  19. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/27/2011 - 04:15 pm.

    Well, it’s attractive on its face, Eric, but as they say, the devil is in the details…

    I look forward, for instance, to Mr. Gotzman listing the government services he currently uses that he’s willing to forego while we curb government spending in the particulars, not just the usual rhetorical mumbo-jumbo. While government spending at the federal level is certainly a legitimate issue, it’s only part of the problem. Living on a national credit card has been hugely exacerbated by a decade of revenue constriction initiated by He Who Shall Not Be Named, not to mention two very expensive wars which, through accounting tricks, have largely been kept off the books. In effect, we’ve quit our job, gotten in big legal fights with the neighbors on either side of us, and all of that while buying a new and expensive 4 x 4 without having an income to pay for it. Much the same thing, minus the wars, might apparently be said for Minnesota, though I’ve not been here long enough to have experienced first-hand the origins of our current deficit dilemma. Perhaps another He Who Shall Not Be Named played a role…

    Asking, rhetorically, what % of GDP should be spent on government is the wrong question. A better question might be: What is it that the public wants government to do? Once we know that, we’ll know how much revenue the government needs to accomplish those ends.

    As for capital gains, we’ve had many years of treating capital gains as a “special case” when it comes to taxation. Perhaps a review the last 3 years of private sector “growth” as a result of that special tax treatment is necessary to refresh Mr. Gotzman’s memory.

    In that context, it’s too bad the rich understand, as Mr. Tester obviously does not, that there are genuine, practical limits to consumption that don’t apply to income, especially not to capital gains and other types of “investment” income for which the recipients do nothing but cash the checks.

    Yes, everyone buys stuff, but what I pay at the discount grocer every week for food is a far larger share of my income than what even twice the food budget would take as a share of Mark Dayton’s, or Prince’s, or Steven Hemsley’s income. Moreover, if I’m really wealthy, much of my consumption will be outside the United States – I’ll buy my Ferrari in Italy, thank you very much – where collection of a consumption tax by the U.S. government isn’t likely to be supported by a foreign government.

    Mr. Tester’s line that income tax is immoral is laughable. There’s nothing inherently antiquated or unfair about a tax code that charges both higher rates and higher taxes. Wealthy people have not recently – or ever – earned the sort of wealth that’s commonly thought of on the right as some sort of birthright. The wealthy have, in effect, won the lottery. Even when they’ve “earned” a fortune, that fortune is based on happenstance (being in the right place at the right time, ideologically, technologically, governmentally, etc.), and on infrastructure and labor contributed by a host of other individuals who have reaped only some minuscule fraction of the financial reward accruing to whatever wealthy person we’re talking about.

    I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Crose (#13). I like Eric’s plan, as far as it goes, but most of the tax code has to do with corporate income – which Mr. Tester and Mr. Gotzman would presumably not tax at all, since corporations don’t “consume,” even though they’re now “people,” and taxing “job creators” has become, just in the past few years, a sin.

    For their edification, I refer Messrs. Tester and Gotzman to Andrew Carnegie – no tax and spend liberal, he – who suggested that a 50 % tax on a wealthy person’s income was not out of line, and further suggested that personal wealth does not “belong” to the wealthy person anyway, but represents a sort of “trust” bestowed upon that person – quite temporarily – by the society, to which the wealth really belongs.

  20. Submitted by Nate Pete on 10/27/2011 - 04:17 pm.

    #18 sums it up. I got mine, and the poor are poor because they deserve to be poor because they are lazy. Nice empathy.

  21. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 10/27/2011 - 04:30 pm.

    The ’40’s through the early 70’s saw the greatest period of economic and capitalistic expansion in the history of the world. The top rate hovered between 70% and 90%. This did not harm growth, capitalism, or innovation.

    In the 1940’s tax receipts increased 504% for the decade with a 90% top rate!
    In the 1950’s, tax receipts grew another 134%
    Even in the energy crisis 1970’s, tax receipts increased 168% for the decade!

    In the 1980’s, tax receipts only increased 99.6%.

    Why can’t we just go back to the tax code of our greatest generation?

  22. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 10/27/2011 - 04:41 pm.

    “Treating “capital gains” as regular income is a disaster for private sector growth. ”

    Actually, the exact opposite of this statement is what seemed to have happened in reality. It might be just coincidence. However, the above quotation is demonstrably false.

    Post -war 1942-until 1999 cap gains hovered between 25 and 30%. This was the time of the greatest capitalist expansion in the history of mankind. Not really a disastrous time period, per se.

    Starting in 2000, it was cut and cut again. The decade of low capital gains saw our slowest decade of post war growth.

    Ron, could you please provide any evidence of this statement. It seems like it is fear mongering.

  23. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 10/27/2011 - 04:48 pm.

    Finally, I agree with Dennis!!!

    “I don’t think it’s fair that those you use a disproportionate share of public assistance, education, police, medical emergency, court and incarceration costs should pay nothing for it.”

    Yes Dennis, and since the wealthy quality of life depends on a stable society much, much more than anyone, they should pay their fair share for that.

    For example, a poor person certainly doesn’t care if there is international licensing protection, federal transportation system, FAA safety systems, police and fire protection at all their factories, clean water for all their businesses, and on and on.

    So yes, Dennis, the people who benefit from a stable society more should have to pay more.

    Plop a poor person in some third world slum and their life will not marketedly change.

    Plop a wealthy person in some third world slum and they will be in a brand new universe. Maybe then they would appreciate everything society has helped them to achieve.

  24. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/27/2011 - 06:49 pm.

    The only flat tax worth having is a consumption tax (and / or a carbon tax). If you want to simplify the tax system, which is the appeal of these so-called flat tax plans, we already have half of the solution in place. The AMT is a flattish tax on high incomes. Keep the AMT, lose the regular income tax (including corporate tax), and put in a big (and flat) VAT. Taxing consumption is better economically than taxing income, and the big bonus is to lose the regressive tax deductions for medical plans and mortgages.

  25. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 10/27/2011 - 06:50 pm.

    Alec,

    What is scary is what you are proposing.

    Is your solution going back to the tax rates of 50’s, 60’s or even the 70’s – and combining with that – taxing capital gains as ordinary income? Please find one –just one- elected official who is advocating your position.

    Please ask Amy K to run on increasing the top tax rate to 90% – please!! Please have Amy K run on the position of increasing the capital gains rate to ordinary income.

    If you find one elected official that accepts your position, please let us know. If not, maybe no one else views your position as reasonable

  26. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 10/27/2011 - 10:37 pm.

    Ron,
    I’d settle for Reagan tax levels.

    I am still waiting for your explanation of why taxing capital gains would cause disaster when the exact opposite was true.

    We had the worst decade ever when we cut capital gains.

    The country did not just flash into existence as a super power. It took hard work and sacrifice. The entitled rich have forgotten that.

  27. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/28/2011 - 08:17 am.

    We have the highest capital gains tax in the world at 35%. You know or care nothing about job creation in the private sector if you’re not in favor of cutting it. I would eliminate it.

    Look, bottom line tax collection should be about collecting revenue to fund the government. It should not be about incentivizing or disincentivizing anything. That’s why we have a 70,000 page tax code.

    Eliminate the income tax (and the IRS) and charge a flat sales tax on all goods and services sold from a retailer to a consumer. Anything else is social engineering.

  28. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/28/2011 - 09:47 am.

    Ron–
    There’s a difference between economically reasonable and
    politically feasible.
    (and AmyK is about nothing if not political feasibility. Like Obama, she’s a traditional moderate Republican).

    Dennis–
    The tax code may specify a _marginal_ (know what that is?) tax rate of 35%, but that has little relationship to what corporations pay (if they pay anything at all).
    That’s why GE has a negative tax bill.
    If we cut that 35% to 15% and eliminated ALL loopholes (including locating corporate offices in the Caymans) we’d increase tax revenues.
    That’s why most European countries have lower official marginal corporate tax rates, but higher corporate tax revenues.

  29. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/28/2011 - 09:50 am.

    I get really tired of reminding people that the 35% corporate rate is seldom or ever paid. Many of our largest corporations pay little or nothing in income tax no matter how much they earn.

    To your plan, Eric, I would add that businesses should pay a tax on their gross income, just as the rest of us do. That may be the only way to get them to pay their fair share of infrastructure and its maintenance, of the public provision of educated employees and police and fire protection and all other public services they receive.

  30. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/28/2011 - 10:11 am.

    James #8,

    Everyone does pay a “little something” already, in fact, the lowest decile actually pays the highest percentage of their total income in taxes (18% as apposed to 9% for the top 1%). And don’t forget that everyone pays social security medicare payroll taxes.

    I’m not sure social security or disability payments should be “income”. It seems odd to tax disabled and elderly people an income tax in their earned benefits when they’re on fixed incomes. I think social security and disability payments should be exempt.

  31. Submitted by Conner McCall on 10/28/2011 - 10:25 am.

    I actually like Eric’s plan. So there is that.

    My two cents on the capital gains tax. What should happen is we tax capital gains at a lower level depending on how long someone holds the investment. Hold an investment for 24 hours, the income produced should be taxed at 50% or more, hold it for 24 years it should be 15% or less.

    We are constantly hearing how taxing investments will decrease investing. So let’s incentivise actual investment and not speculation.

  32. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 10/28/2011 - 11:37 am.

    @#27
    That’s not the whole story on capital gains tax. It’s AS HIGH AS 35% for short term capital gains (investments held for less than a year) and is equivalent to the income tax rate in the same bracket. It is, however, no more than 15% for long-term gains and as low as 5%. Futher, you can deduct losses for non-personal capital. It’s complicated, but not THAT complicated.

  33. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/28/2011 - 11:50 am.

    Isn’t it interesting, when you focus on actually fixing taxes rather than simply eliminating them as part of a magic plan (cut taxes and wait for the magic to happen), look at how many good and thoughtful ideas you get? You’re telling me we can’t do this? Poppycock.

  34. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/28/2011 - 03:43 pm.

    “It is, however, no more than 15% for long-term gains and as low as 5%.”

    But you want capital moving in the economy. When people hold on to it longer than they want to to avoid the punitive tax associated with selling it, you inhibit that movement.

  35. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/28/2011 - 03:51 pm.

    Why don’t we just use the same type of algorithm that the day traders and financial speculators use, so that the quicker the equity is sold the higher the tax?
    Would do wonders for the type of speculation that crashed the system!

  36. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/28/2011 - 06:21 pm.

    The US is actually a corporate tax haven, with the lowest effective corporate tax rates of almost all the countries that participate in the OECD. That’s a little fact that the GOP apparently doesn’t want the American public to understand, since all its hype is in terms of statutory rates and not in terms of effective tax rates.

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