Republicans and the TEA Party renounced their loyalty to our nation and gave their pledge to a lobbyist a couple of years ago. Grover Norquist convinced them to sign a document promising to vote against any form of tax increase. More value was given to one man than to the entire population of the United States. America needs tax increases to survive.
From the time I was a boy, I remember my grandfather and uncles talking about taxes. By the time I was old enough to get a job, I believed that taxes were too high. It’s funny how a little age and maturity can change opinions; at least for the open-minded.
The United States has the lowest average tax rates in the industrial world. And our wealthiest pay far less than their counterparts in other nations. Individual income tax rates range from zero percent to a maximum of 39.6 percent. Using tax incentives, one percent of those in the upper income level pay an average tax rate of 20 percent. Those who are only millionaires pay 25 percent. While those who are extremely wealthy control 90 percent of our nation’s wealth, they pay only 20 percent of the total tax revenue for the privilege of living in our country.
Corporate tax rates in the United States range from 15 to 35 percent, based on profit margin. That figure does not include the largest corporations such as oil companies which continue to receive tax ‘incentives’, reducing their responsibility. To compare; China has one rate, 25 percent; France’s rate is 33.33 percent; Germany 30-33 percent; the United Kingdom’s is 23 percent.
In those same countries, individual tax rates are quite different. In China the tax rate reaches 45 percent; in France, 41 percent; Germany, 45 percent; the United Kingdom 45 percent.
The next time you hear a member of Congress declare that they will fight any tax increases, read between the lines. What they are actually promising is not to increase the taxes on our wealthiest citizens, keeping the largest burden on the working class.
Isn’t it both fair and logical that if individuals make more money, they should pay more taxes? Our tax structure is entirely unjust. Our government continues to protect our nation’s wealthiest at the expense of the many, passing legislation which forbids raising their taxes. The tax rate, originally designed to be fair, is marred by loopholes, insuring the wealthiest never pay the top rate.
Throughout my lifetime solutions have been offered by our nation’s most respected economists. A flat tax rate, with no deductions appeared reasonable, until provisions continued to be added to the plan which would have once again protected the very rich. The latest proposal appears to be the only equitable approach; a national sales tax which would replace income tax. With the exception of food, not including alcohol, everything would be taxed. The more someone spent, the more tax they would pay; no deductions.
This afternoon President Obama and soon-to-be Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell will meet in private. Among the items to be discussed is a Republican plan to prevent a government shutdown, which will include the proviso excluding the section funding the Department of Homeland Security. While the majority of the governments operation will be extended until Next September, Homeland Security, which will fund the President’s immigration plan, will expire in January.
The President’s request for six billion dollars to fight the Ebola virus will be discussed, as well as additional defense considerations including ISIS.
The final discussion will be about taxes; McConnell wants a guarantee that there will be no ‘retroactive taxes’ for the wealthy.
By James Turnage