Monday, January 11, 2010

An Open Challenge to Advocates of Tax Cuts

Ranting about the unfairness of taxes has become a national sport. Yet, tax cuts (without commensurate reductions in spending) are a prime contributor to the more than $12 trillion U.S. public debt that has been accumulated largely since 1981.

I challenge you to state how the U.S. federal government should generate an additional $1.5 trillion (give or take a few hundred billion) every year. Please be specific. Who should pay more in taxes? Who, if anyone, should pay less? It would be even better if you could find a politician who would make such a statement on the record.

It is easy to rant about the unfairness of ANY tax. Anti-tax advocates are making U.S. fiscal problems worse, not better. They add to a culture of fiscal irresponsibility in which we demand government services, but are unwilling to pay for them. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not opposed to the reduction or elimination of ANY government programs. But until such a time as politicians are willing to upset the portions of the electorate that benefit from government largesse by reducing their benefits, the responsible behavior is to pay for current government services rather than passing trillions of dollars of debt to our children, grandchildren, and future generations.

Keep ranting if it makes you feel better. But unless you support HIGHER taxes (on someone) or reduced government spending (on things YOU benefit from), then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

I await your plans for increasing federal government revenues or specific recommendations for $1.5 trillion (or more) in cuts to government services.

Best wishes ...


  1. 1. Repeal the Bush tax cuts.
    2. Equate long-term capital gains tax rates with income taxes. This could be done by indexing the original cost basis to inflation.
    3. Remove the income cap on Social Security taxes and apply it to stock options either when the options are sold and/or executed.
    4. Create a progressive income tax rate curve that is identical to the wealth distribution (Gini) curve.
    5. Cancel cold war era defense projects.
    6. Implement a tariff on Chinese goods until a labor-cost equivalence to American goods is achieved.
    7. Implement a very small transactions tax in the securities markets. This will have the effect of slowing down day trading so that investors will have to invest for the long term.
    8. Implement income tax withholding on dividends and interest.
    9. Apply an equivalent to the Glass-Steagall Act.
    10. Implement a "drive-through" tax of $1.00 per drive-through transaction. (This is more to change people's behavior, but heck, I thought I'd throw it in.)


  2. Moderate inflation or even deflation is occuring, and savings are picking up, but unemployment and financial commitments loom on the horizon. The solution to our economic problems is a bottom-up regrouping and restoration of creative enterprise. This can be assisted in the policy sphere with the implementation of a consumption tax to offset a gradual repeal of the income tax in conjuction with a moderate balanced-budget provision in order to encourage savings and investment for both American citizens and lawmakers. Now is the perfect time to make this shift as price increases will not be profound in a deflationary economy.

  3. From her works, it is apparent Ayn Rand admired the courageous pebble-droppers, the nails standing above the boardwalk that ruling elite might trip over, who challenged the established and accepted way things were done. It was the creative, imaginative individuals who followed a dream, a vision of some better way of living that she wrote about, not the socialist taker who envied the creative few even when enjoying the benefits of the pebble-dropper’s efforts. This was her focus. All other ingredients haters add to the interpretation of Ayn Rand’s ideas are simply mud to cloud the water. Whether she was atheist or Jewish, anti-Christian or self-centered means nothing. She believed she was OK and others, as individuals, were potentially OK as well, but herds were led by the few who would limit individuals and take from those who have to share with those who have not, and they and their leaders were not OK. Those who violently oppose Rand are the ones who want to retain the Old World ideals of a few elite ruling the many, as is being reintroduced to America by the Obama forces.

  4. If someones taxes are raised someone elses taxes are reduced.