Resist

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Ted Cruz hates taxes!


During last Saturday's Republican debate, Ted Cruz had a couple of things to say about taxes.
My tax plan, typical family of four. First $36,000 you earn you pay nothing in taxes. No income taxes. No payroll taxes. No nothing. Above 10% everyone pays the same simple flat 10% income rate. It’s flat and fair. You can fill out your taxes on a postcard and we abolish the I.R.S. And if you wanna see the postcard, I’ve got it on– on my website.


Here's Cruz's "postcard". I had to spend more than ten minutes clicking through
a dozen links to find this on his website. It was an unwholesome experience.
You're welcome, Internet.

So here's my question. If you abolish the IRS, then who collects the postcard? Who pays out the refunds and collects the taxes? What if you refuse to pay the taxes you owe; who enforces the law? What if you take too many deductions or not enough? What if there's a math error? I don't think Ted has thought this through.

Speaking of his website, I also came across this lovely bit of dream policy he wants to impose.
V. HIRING FREEZE AND REDUCTION 
Reduce costs by instituting a hiring freeze and federal pay reforms.
  • Put in place a hiring freeze of federal civilian employees across the executive branch.
  • For those agencies in which it is determined that a vacant position needs to be filled, I will authorize the hiring of a maximum ratio of one person for every three who leave.
  • Reduce the annual across-the-board adjustment for federal civilian pay so that rather than receiving automatic yearly raises, federal workers would have more opportunities for merit-based pay increases.
With regards to the third bullet, there are merit-based pay increases. Duh. Also, the annual "automatic" yearly raises are dependent on Congress passing them and for the last several years the raises have been zero or just over one percent, way less than inflation. So it would be difficult to reduce them. Maybe we'd have to pay a penalty back to the government?

And as far as the second bullet, this is Ted Cruz's plan to screw up the government so he can kill even more agencies. If my Agency could only hire one person for every three who leave, we'd be out of business within a couple of years. And the millions of Americans who depend on us would be out of luck. F*ck you, Ted Cruz.

Ted also said this:
And one of the things that’s critical . . . abolishing the death tax, which is cruel and unfair.
The "death tax" is, of course, Republican-speak for the Estate Tax. The point of the estate tax is to take idle money, sitting in the accounts of recently deceased millionaires and billionaires, and reclaim some of that wealth. This tax generates billions of dollars each year and stimulates the economy as that money is reintroduced into the economy.

If we don't have such a tax, then the rich pass all of their money down to their children, and their children, and their children, and that money is basically removed from the economy forever. Bill Gates can't possibly spend his tens of billions of wealth in his lifetime, nor could his descendants for hundreds of years. The estate tax is to reduce the effects of all that wealth leaving the economy and reduce the chances of a permanent, wealthy aristocracy. You know, the kind of system we rebelled against in 1776?

But here's the fun part. Only the rich pay the tax; the middle class and poor absolutely don't. For 2016, the amount you have to have in your estate to get hit with the tax is $5,450,000. Because of that, only the largest 0.2% of estates in the US have to pay any estate tax. (This should be contrasted with Cruz's super-fair 10% flat plan which would tax a family of four making $40,000 a year, $4000. Who is more hurt here?)

And because these ultra-rich folk have to pay some additional taxes when they die, Ted Cruz calls it "cruel and unfair." 

Yeah, so cruel. So unfair.


2 comments:

Eric Haas said...

“(This should be contrasted with Cruz's super-fair 10% flat plan which would tax a family of four making $40,000 a year, $4000. Who is more hurt here?)”

Um, no… a family of four making $40,000 a year would be taxed $400, not $4,000. You have to subtract the $36,000 before you take 10%.


“Here's Cruz's "postcard". I had to spend more than ten minutes clicking through
a dozen links to find this on his website. It was an unwholesome experience.
You're welcome, Internet.”


Really? It took me all of ten seconds to find.

Ipecac said...

Um, no… a family of four making $40,000 a year would be taxed $400, not $4,000. You have to subtract the $36,000 before you take 10%.

Fair point. Still, flat taxes are incredibly regressive.

Really? It took me all of ten seconds to find.

Apparently you think just like Ted Cruz. I'd keep that quiet. :-)