To do a little bit of more serious thought regarding the planned Senate and House tax cut plans, I figure I ought to link to an article about them, and evaluate the plans in light of a few principles.
The principles are simple. First, a man ought not be taxed on money he needs to support his family, including pending actuarial cataclysms with Socialist Insecurity, Mediscare, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Deform Act. Second, tax cuts ought to be balanced with spending cuts, particularly on the many things government does that really don't help (e.g. hybrid car subsidies, windmills, subsidies for daycare, etc..). Third, they ought to be permanent to create a sense of economic continuity and planning. Fourth, they ought to simplify the tax code, since our current system has hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs.
OK, so how does the plan do by these criteria? The first item, the doubling of the standard deduction does make taxes simpler (few would itemize) and does reduce taxation of money people need to live. Unfortunately, that is largely undone by the elimination of the dependent exemption, which could be critical to avoid seniors dying on a diet of dog food in a puddle of their own waste when SS and Medicare/Medicaid collapse. The elimination of the dependent exemption is that further complicated by family tax credits and an expanded, two part tax credit. What the GOP is doing here, really, is eliminating lines on the 1040 that lack forms and replacing them with lines that require multiple forms. Not good on complexity there at all, and definitely not good for people supporting disabled and aged relatives, or for people with kids in college.
The damage is compounded with modifications of the estate tax and medical deductions, where the GOP missed a golden opportunity to make HIDA/Obamacare irrelevant by making either all health care costs deductible or none of them.
To wrap things up, many of the cuts are temporary or delayed, hindering economic planning, and none of the cuts are balanced by spending cuts that desperately need to be made. Come on, the GOP can't make the case that the kid flipping burgers ought not be required to help a lawyer pay for his )(*&)(&)( Tesla? Or that the kid sweeping floors at McNeilus Steel ought not be paying for the owner's windmills? Seriously?
I'm as conservative as they come, but I really think the GOP needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.
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