Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Only One Way on Taxes

 ("Invitation to a Dialogue: Which Way on Taxes?")

The fear of tax avoidance or the concern that the rich will stop working if the top tax rate increases to 39% are ludicrous rationale for suggesting that a desperately needed revenue stream be denied. Bill O'Reilly briefly attempted to convince us that he might have to walk away from his multi-million dollar job if this transpired, but even he couldn't sustain this pretense.Where is the data, the historical precedence, that supports either of these contentions? Some studies suggest that the maximum tax rate would have to be closer to 70% before enough people would retire to bring in less overall tax dollars for the government. As with so many Republican talking points, fear, not fact, is the predicate.

As to Mr. Roth's second contention,  while I do agree that the tax code needs an overhaul,  a revenue neutral proposal (assuming this is an accurate assessment) is not the answer. What this economic quagmire demands is a significant immediate stimulus. I know that the Svengali like hold of Grover Norquist on the Republican party compels them reflexively to require no imposition of additional tax burdens. However, Mr. Roth, and those like him, must stop pretending that refusing to require more of those who have the capability to contribute at this critical moment will magically make us healthy. 

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