The Time For Bold Tax Reform Has Come

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave the government the authority to tax people’s income (up to 100% of it), was sold to the public as only taxing the rich. Sound familiar?

By 1913, 36 States had ratified the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. In October, Congress passed a new income tax law with rates beginning at 1 percent and rising to 7 percent for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1 percent of the population paid income tax at the time.

Americans Paying Zero Federal Income Tax Grows

There is a growing number of Americans who pay zero federal income tax after taking advantage of deductions and credits.  This, a result of morphing the income tax system into spending programs during the Clinton administration. The number of Americans in this group has increased by 35%. Up from 43.4 million people in the 2006 tax year to 58.6 million in the 2009 tax year.   No doubt due to record unemployment and more wealth-spreading going on.

Prior to The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, tax relief was generally given in the form of lower tax rates or increased deductions or exemptions. But the 1997 Act  launched the modern proliferation of individual tax credits and refundable credits that are in essence spending programs operating through the tax system.

Large Number of Non-Payers Make Tax Reform Difficult

Federal tax reform requires that the base of the federal income tax be widened, so that overall tax rates can be reduced. However, because of the large number of Americans currently paying zero federal income tax, any attempt to broaden the tax base will be a difficult sell for lawmakers. The millions of Americans who have no federal income tax liability will either be indifferent about tax reform or will positively oppose it, as it would require bringing them into the federal tax base.

When more people don’t pay taxes than pay taxes under the current system, why would anyone think that these non-payers would vote for anyone who would make them pay a ‘fair’ share? Similar problems are bankrupting European countries over benefits. Reforms there means taking benefits away.

These findings raise serious questions about the future of the U.S. income tax system, and the possibility of base-broadening tax reform when the majority of the federal tax burden is borne by a shrinking pool of taxpayers.

I got your base-broadening tax reform right here. It’s called the FairTax and it is what ‘Phase 2’ of Herman Cain’s economic plan is all about. It broadens the tax base from 140 million people to every living human being within the borders of the United States. Under the FairTax, the tax base includes our population of 320 million, plus foreign tourists, diplomats, and illegal aliens. You can’t get a broader tax base nor a better stimulus for job creation, economic growth, personal economic security and national economic security.

Occupy Pensacola, Vandalism

Graffiti on the wall of the Sun Trust building in downtown Pensacola is the first evidence that the peaceful protest is turning the corner into something less so.

Credit to RicksBlog for bringing the first signs of protest vandalism to our attention. No one has claimed credit for it yet, but I agree that this was the work of the Occupy Pensacola crowd camping out at City Hall.

Not counting the increase cost of law enforcement put upon taxpayers to babysit them, should we consider ourselves lucky that damages for the graffiti only total $2,000? Since there are arrests and rioting elsewhere in the United States, I guess we should.

But keep in mind, they are new at this. With a little help from labor unions, I’m sure they can be even more destructive to public and private property. It is what BIG LABOR wants.

Stephen Lerner , on the International Executive Board of the 2.2 million member Service Employees International Union, SEIU, said . . .

There’s moments in history where people take action and do something heroic. Where we do something heroic. Where we take risks.

If we are really serious about movement building then we think one part is we have to act heroically. That we have to inspire people by our actions and we have to be willing to take incredible personal and collective risks.

And that’s the time and there’s moments where history shifts and we’re going to decide if it shifts.

The protesters have a list of things they want you to contribute to sustain the encampment that they can’t sustain on their own.

Pensacola News Journal columnist Troy Moon wrote that these protesters are not unlike your neighbor. Just regular people. If they are like my neighbors, they would gladly pay for the damages that their kids created. So if you are inclined to send monetary support to this group, be sure to designate that it is to cover the damage and to reimburse the city, not to buy cans of spray paint. And Troy could write about how responsible your neighbors are.


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Sen. Harry Reid Wins M.R.I.O.T.D. Award

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said this on the floor of the Senate.

“It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”

It is with some reservation that Sen. Reid wins the Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day award. Not because he isn’t deserving of it, but rather that as a conservative, I have some compassion for my fellow-man. He might have some mental health issues for making such a statement and need professional help.

Link: A Moment of Candor From Harry Reid