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The Perfect Tax Increase
Republicans oppose tax increases for higher income groups because Republicans suffer from the delusion that the group consists solely of small business owners. Many in the higher income group do not own small businesses and thus are not going to reduce hiring if their taxes go up or increase hiring if taxes are reduced.
Minimum wage dishwashers pay a Social Security tax. Business executives should be able to pay a tax on their income above some amount (for example, $200,000). This tax could be imposed as a temporary tax until the deficit is eliminated and the country begins paying off its debt.
The tax would be paid on gross income like the Social Security tax. Executives of "non profit" organizations would be subject to the tax as well as executives of for profit organizations.
Business owners wouldn't be subject to the tax. It would be limited to those who are employed by others, including the highly paid "employees" of sports teams and television and movie production companies. I doubt that Charlie Sheen will cut back on his female companionship and drug use if he has to pay a few more dollars in taxes.
Business executives aren't going to invest their money in new equipment for their employers even if they don't pay any income taxes. Raising their taxes won't keep them from creating jobs as Republicans claim is the case with business owners. Raising their taxes would help reduce the federal deficit.
President Barack Obama calls tax provisions allowing companies to deduct the cost of aircraft are "loopholes" even though allowing companies to deduct the cost of new equipment creates jobs in other businesses particularly in American businesses as is the case with most aircraft purchases.
If Obama wants to eliminate loopholes he should eliminate the ability of corporations to deduct the full cost of the salaries of their highly paid executives when figuring taxes. Government might allow a deduction only for the first $200,000 of each executive's pay when determining profit. Alternatively, government might allow deduction of executive salaries when determining profit, but impose a special tax on executive pay comparable to the Social Security tax.
Corporate income has traditionally been viewed in terms of profits which are the stockholders' income. However, the corporation is more than stockholders. Its financial beneficiaries include the people the corporation pays, particularly executives who can receive huge incomes even if the stockholders receive no incomes from the corporation.
Companies already pay taxes on their hourly employees through the Social Security system. Why should executive salaries get a tax break? Perhaps this tax provision could be temporary depending upon the size of the deficit.
Congress should replace the capital gains tax associated with stock and commodities trading with a transaction tax. Such a tax would provide a more predictable source of revenue and simplify tax collection while facilitating a tax increase during periods of high trading. There would be no provision for a capital loss deduction on stocks held less than a period of years. This change would not effect the number of jobs. The stock market in recent decades has at times been more of a gambling device than an investment facility.
The markets might drop briefly when the tax is implemented, but the markets would quickly adjust to the new cost and then ignore it.
Congress should increase the tax on casino gambling revenue and winnings. Congress should eliminate any deduction for casino and race track gambling losses on visits when losses are greater than wins. Increases in these taxes won't impact jobs. Most people visit casinos for entertainment rather than income.
Cutting spending without adversely impacting the economy isn't as easy as Republicans believe. For example, cutting Department of Defense purchases of equipment would mean the companies that produced the equipment would have to lay off workers. Most Social Security recipients spend all the money they receive. Cutting benefits would reduce their purchases forcing layoffs in businesses that recipients purchase goods and services from.
Major cuts will require Congress taking the time to evaluate each program to determine how to cut spending without cutting jobs in the private sector. Some programs could be dropped because the private sector could take over financing. Until that happens Congress shouldn't start any new funding programs and should delay the implementation of major health care changes such as Obamacare until the deficit is under control.
Groups like Planned Parenthood could be financed by private donations if there is sufficient support in the private sector. Programming for the Public Broadcast system could be financed by donations or by giving commercial stations the option of broadcasting a broader range of programming or providing programming to PBS.
Many of those who study climate claim that climate science is settled. Thus there is no reason to continue spending tax money on climate research. The only reason to spend tax money on science research is to learn something new.
Since the days of Senator William Proxmire politicians and journalists have often ridiculed some federally funded "science" research. Many of these projects may have been legitimate topics of research, but there was no real reason for the federal government to borrow money to fund them. Congress should consider a moratorium on science research until it can establish guidelines for what can be funded.
Congress should immediately end all funding for operations in Libya. If the Europeans want to spend money taking control of Libyan oil they should spend their own money. Bombing campaigns are notoriously ineffective in causing countries to surrender. Many historians believe even the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in WWII were not responsible for Japan's surrender because the government was about to surrender anyway.