Tea Party favorite, Sen. Rand Paul, is featured in a TV commercial calling for viewers to sign a petition to abolish the IRS. Paul and his fellow Tea Party parasites are capitalizing on what they falsely call an unconstitutional attack on conservatives to get what they really want…a flat tax.
The flat tax is a horrible idea that has long been pushed by the wealthy and conservatives. It doesn’t sound bad; you just total up the income you received for the year and pay a flat percentage of that income. No accountants or tax preparers needed. But since everyone would pay the same percentage, the flat tax would be a huge victory for the wealthy and an unprecedented attack on the poor.
The very conservative Heritage Foundation recommends that the tax rate be set at 28 percent. It would eliminate payroll taxes, estate taxes, excise taxes and taxes on savings. It would give a modest tax credit to the poor. The only other tax deductions would be for higher education, gifts and charitable deductions.
Of course, the poor and modest income households don’t make enough to have savings. So eliminating a tax on savings only benefits the wealthy. Likewise, only the wealthy would benefit from eliminating estate taxes. The wealthy would certainly benefit the most from the charitable deductions. And since the top marginal tax rate is now 39.6 percent, the flat tax would give those making $400,000 and up a tax cut of 11.6 percent!
The real effect of the flat tax proposal would be to dramatically cut taxes for the wealthy and raise taxes on those who can least afford it.
The flat tax is just another Trojan horse concocted by conservatives to benefit their wealthy masters. It would move even more of the tax burden onto the middle class and make the plight of the poor utterly hopeless. A better idea is to rid our current tax code of the deductions, tax shelters and subsidies created by conservative politicians to help their campaign contributors avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
A flat tax will simply help them avoid taxes altogether.
Since no one actually likes paying taxes, the IRS has few friends. Yet, without the IRS, who would track down the thousands of tax cheats? With no enforcement, thousands more would be encouraged to avoid paying taxes. And, though a flat tax may sound like a good idea, if it ever happens, the American dream will become a nightmare for all but a very few.