possible tax alternative?
We have always cussed and discussed our system of taxation. What was at first considered a fair system designed to improve the country's ability to expand its infrastructure, soon morphed into an all-consuming giant that of late, has been out of control. With tax rates roller-coastering from 1% -90% over the years, maybe it is time to rethink the method we now use to provide funding for the things we all need....or think we need. Most agree that any tax system should be fair and many think that the advantaged should pay more tax than the disadvantaged. Both points are valid. In order for any new tax system to take effect, both must be considered in a give and take negotiation. First, any tax system, including the 1/2 cent national sales tax I proposed in conjunction with a national catastrophic health care plan, should be subject to a "sunset" clause, one written in such a way that it cannot be altered or violated except by MAJORITY vote in both houses of congess. Before even talking taxes, it is paramount that we all remember that physically paying a tax is the only way one can take ownership of what the taxes are paying for. Would you deface property if you knew YOUR personal tax dollars had to pay for cleaning it? In this regard, our current system has removed that feeling of responsibilty from the very group of people that need it. "But that's just not fair for the under-advantaged or homeless sleeping under a bridge" say the socially conscious crowd. Even the bridge under which one sleeps requires tax dollars to build and maintain ! Let's start with a "base" tax for everyone, whether a silicon valley multi-billionaire, a sports or hollywood millionaire, a plumber, truck driver, doctor or homeless beggar. That tax, with the necessary registered filing of that tax, would be 2% for everyone. You make a dollar, you are taxed $.02, you make $100,000, you are taxed $2,000. Those at or below the government poverty level pay no more (or less). Those people now feel as though they are contributing members of society rather than feeling as though they have no value since society provides for them. If one has an income from the poverty level to around $80,000, another 5% is added for a total tax of 7%, deductions for mortgage allowed up to $250,000 mortgage, deductions for children allowed up to 3 children. If one has an income from $80-200,000, another 5% is added, with same deductions, for a total of 12%. Over $200,000 results in another 5% being added for a total of 17% tax with loss of all deductions once income reaches $500,000. Obviuosly a plan like this would need fine-tuning, but a simplified, graduated tax system, fixed at 3 year increments for revisions but written with guarantees that no revisions exceed 5% of total tax liabilty by any individual, just might be a good start for a broader dicussion. The old KISS principle (keep it simple stupid!) should apply in our tax system, one that in it's current form, is anything but that.