Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tax reform? Really?

I find it amusing for anybody to suggest that a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans would find common ground on the subject of tax reform. A quote by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham: "people like me would agree to bring in revenue... Not by raising taxes, by flattening out the tax code and bring in some repatriated corporate earnings at a lower rate." Really, would flatter taxes (lowering taxes on the "rich" and raising them for lower and middle class) be palatable to your average Progressive Liberal? Similarly, how many progressive liberals are willing to give Big Business a tax break on foreign earnings?
I mean, last I heard, Progressive Liberals were: a) opposed to a flat or flatter tax, and b) clamoring to raise the tax rate on "The Rich" even higher. Have they suddenly changed their stripes? After Obama's "victory" in the fiscal crisis battle?
Everybody seems to hate the sequester, but it seems like it is the only thing that seems to be working, so I think this is yet another one of those things in Washington where "public pronouncements should not be confused with private intentions".
Meanwhile, growing the economy to close the budget deficit seems to be at least somewhat working as well.
All of that said, a lower tax rate of say 20% on repatriated earnings could indeed inspire a lot of companies to repatriate foreign earnings. But, is there any chance that your average Progressive Liberal would concede the 35% corporate tax rate? In truth, I think this is one of the few aspects of tax reform that has a ghost of a chance.

-- Jack Krupansky


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