Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus 1 Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

GOP Tax Plan: Hardly "Reform," But Tax Cuts "Cost" Nothing

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/4/17

Author 76576

From commons.wikimedia.org: Form 1040, 2005 {MID-171127}
Form 1040, 2005
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans released their grandiosely titled "Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code" on September 27. The plan looks a lot more like a grab bag designed by lobbyists than like any kind of carefully considered plan for "tax reform."

It's full of smoke and mirrors. For example, the one-page highlight sheet brags that "the framework roughly doubles the standard deduction so that typical middle-class families will keep more of their paycheck." I'd hoped that this might be the start of something like an Incremental Tax Exemption program (themite.org). But as I dug into the details, it turned out to be a bait and switch scam: "To simplify the tax rules, the additional standard deduction and personal exemptions for the taxpayer and spouse are consolidated into this larger standard deduction." The plan takes as much more from you on one side of the equation as it leaves with you on the other.

When critics point out that the plan's tax cuts are weighted heavily toward the wealthiest Americans, they're right. It's full-on "supply side" hokum: Cut the corporate and other business rates and wealth will "trickle down" as entrepreneurs innovate and create jobs. But "demand side" cuts would actually convey more information to those entrepreneurs, guiding their innovation as they chase the additional dollars left in the pockets of regular consumers.

I'm all for tax cuts and not terribly particular about where they fall. But let's be honest: Cutting the corporate and top rates isn't about sound economics, it's about whose lobbyists buy the most expensive lunches for, and who contributes most reliably to the campaigns of, which politicians.

- Advertisement -

Of course, the main criticism coming from opponents of tax cuts as such is that those cuts would "cost" the US government something. The New York Times claims (drawing on an analysis by the Tax Policy Center) that "the corporate tax cuts will cost nearly $7 trillion over the next two decades .... the entire package is expected to cost an estimated $5.6 trillion over the next 20 years."

Well, no. The total "cost" of the proposed tax cuts would be a whopping zero dollars and zero cents.

If I'm mugged one night and it turns out I left my wallet at home, that fact doesn't "cost" the mugger the $20 that was in it. The $20 wasn't his in the first place. It was mine. If I walk past a restaurant without buying something to eat, it doesn't "cost" the restaurateur anything. Ditto for money that government doesn't take from you or me.

- Advertisement -

Politicians want us to believe that our money naturally belongs to government and that letting us keep any of it is generosity on their part. But politicians don't create wealth. They just seize it from the rest of us, or borrow it from lenders who expect them to seize it from us later.

The Republican plan looks like a combination of weak tea, scammy distractions and voodoo economics to me. But I guess we could do (and have done) worse.

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey

US Foreign Military Bases Aren't "Defense"

If You've Got Nothing to Hide, You've Got Nothing to Fear, JFK Assassination Edition