After the recent debacle on Capitol Hill, instead of real forward progress, we have the same old tired “Beltway two-step” of “let’s have a committee meeting.” To paraphrase Alfonso Bedoya’s words as Mexican bandit leader “Gold Hat” in the 1948 film, “The Treasure of Sierra Madre:” “Meetings? We don’t need no stinkin’ meetings.”Truly, we don’t need no stinkin’ meetings. The American taxpayer is tired of stinkin’ meetings that end up nowhere. We all know that next year on January 15 and February 7 (which happens to be my birthday), regardless of what President Obama says, the kabuki dance will be replayed. What we need are competent statesmen who will develop sound policies leading to economic growth.
This country truly needs tax policy reform. Consider that we are in the one-hundredth year of the personal income tax. In 1913 the top marginal tax rate was seven percent and it was supposed to be temporary. HA! Today the top marginal tax rate is nearly 40 percent and is joined by capital gains tax, dividends tax, and death tax — all killers for economic growth. It’s time to move away from the progressive tax system – a tenet of Karl Marx’s communist manifesto – towards a flat tax in order to eradicate the bloated and incomprehensible 67,000 page current tax code, which apparently both Charlie Rangel and Tim Geithner could not comprehend.
With a flat tax, I believe the only remaining exemptions should be mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Let’s support home ownership the right way, not as the Carter Administration’s Community Reinvestment Act sought to do.
My biggest fear is that Republicans will allow Democrats to continue with their “tax the rich” rant and believe that increased revenues come from increased taxation. Presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and even Bill Clinton, with the pressure of a true conservative House and Senate, understood economic growth policies. Reform the tax code, and let the market – and American taxpayer – flourish.You can read the rest of my article for the London Center for Policy Research here.