Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today spoke about the April 15 federal tax filing deadline and outlined a plan to create an optional 17 percent federal flat tax with a single-page form. Americans would have the option of choosing this tax over the current income tax and its multi-page forms.
Archive for the ‘Taxes & Fiscal Policy’ Category
Stuff like this (among other things) makes me uneasy about Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney on Wednesday swapped talk of resurrecting the auto industry that helped him in Michigan with a pledge to pay attention to textile and other industrial job losses that have punished the South.
“You’ve seen it here, in furniture. You’ve seen the textile industry, where Washington watched, saw the jobs go and go,” the Republican presidential contender told a group of senior citizens at the Sun City Hilton Head Retirement Center.
“I’m not willing to declare defeat on any industry where we can be competitive. I’m going to fight for every job,” Romney said.
How exactly is he going to do it? Trade barriers? Government subsidies? Corporate welfare? I guess limited government is out of the question…
Romney obviously is attempting to co-op the “I feel your pain” appeal of Mike Huckabee that worked so well for him in Michigan. It might work for him again in South Carolina, but I’m afraid it won’t be good for the country.
Tom Elia also has some thoughts.
Cross-posted at Tennesseefree
For once, Michelle Malkin is right. I don’t agree with all the particulars, but she is largely correct in this column. She concludes with (rhetorical?) questions:
As we head toward Super Tuesday, the subprime mess and the economy will dominate — and the Do Something Democrat candidates will turn their spigot of overextended homeowner sob stories on full blast. Do Republicans want a clear alternative to liberal-nomics? Or will you settle for a lip-service conservative who will reward fiscal recklessness with only slightly less government intervention than the Dems?
Unfortunately, I suspect most want the latter.
If nothing else, Huckabee’s victory indicates that support for the FairTax is not an electoral kiss of death. I don’t think think it caused Huckabee’s win, but his ability to appeal to middle and blue collar voters while still supporting it is good news for FairTax supporters.
Bruce Bartlett tackles some tax myths:
– Contrary to popular belief, the vast bulk of federal taxes are paid by the wealthy. According to the JCT, in 2006, 53.7 percent of all federal income taxes were paid by those with incomes over $200,000. Those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 paid 28.3 percent of all individual income taxes. Thus those with incomes over $100,000 paid 82 percent of the total. They also paid 44.4 percent of all payroll taxes.
– Those with incomes below $40,000 paid no federal income taxes at all in the aggregate; the positive liability for those who paid anything was more than offset by tax rebates from the Earned Income Tax Credit for many more who paid nothing. In total, the EITC put $41 billion into the pockets of low-income workers in 2005, 91 percent of it being paid to those with no income tax liability. However, according to the Tax Foundation, three-fifths of Americans believe that it is wrong for anyone to pay no taxes at all, that everyone should pay something to finance the government.
Read it all.
President Bush shows us yet again that he never met a spending bill he didn’t like:
President Bush has proposed a significant jump in funding for an anti-drug advertising campaign that government-funded research shows is at best useless and at worst has increased drug use among some teens.
Congressman Jeb Hensarling on President Bush’s recently proposed budget:
Today, President Bush submitted his FY2008 Budget to the Congress. Conservatives should rally behind the President’s goal to balance the budget within 5 yearswithout raising taxes. This budget should be used as a floor, not a ceiling, and serve as a starting point in the budget process. Congress once again will have the opportunity to restrain runaway spending, reform earmarks and restore the fiscal discipline that you expect in Washington.
I personally have a hard time getting excited about a 2.9 trillion dollar budget, but, like most Bush budgets, it appears to be a mixed bag with some noble goals but far too much overall spending.
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) has endorsed a federal flat tax to replace the current system, making him the first 2008 presidential candidate to do so. Good for him. This stance alone certainly makes him worthy of consideration.
Bush is praising a flat tax:
President Bush says the United States should have a simpler tax system. Apparently he has found one he likes – Estonia’s.
In a brief stop in the Baltic nation on Tuesday, Bush managed to tout Estonia’s flat income tax three times.
“They’ve got a tax system here that is transparent, open and simple,” Bush said in Tallinn after getting a look at how Estonian citizens can file their taxes online.
In a toast about an hour later to Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Bush said, “I am amazed to be in a country that has been able to effect a flat tax in such a positive way.”
And before fielding reporters’ questions with Ilves, Bush again praised Estonia’s approach to taxation.
“I appreciate the fact that you got a flat tax, you got a tax system that’s transparent and simple,” he said.
A flat tax is a great idea, and I hope we’ll see an ambitious push for it. It’s a shame Bush didn’t push it when he had more political capital.