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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flat Tax: Flatly Unfair

So I had an interesting discussion this morning with a conservative, a nice fellow overall but he had some rather poor notions about certain things our government is doing. Now I can go on about the poor things our government is doing right now but that's a different article for a different day.

Our discussion grazed the topic of spending, debt and welfare programs, specifically Pell Grants. As a college student and someone who doesn't have a full time job yet I depend on Pell grants to help offset the costs of college when I graduate. While talking about these programs that help the poor we eventually made our way into taxes. I mentioned to him that Mitt Romney paid only 13% in taxes in the returns that he has released, and under the Romney/Ryan plan he proposed people like Mitt would only pay a whopping 0.82% in taxes. This is only for people making over 1 million dollars a year and by dropping capital gains taxes to zero. Ultimately benefiting the richest among us at the expense of everyone else.

He preceded to tell me that I was mad at Romney for his success, and that taxing rich people is a "punishment" for their success.

I'm always astounded how a larger tax rate on millions of dollars is a punishment, I'd love to be in the position to be punished the way the wealthy supposedly are. Give me 20 Million and then tax me at 50%, who cares I'd still have 10 MILLION dollars.

If you can't live comfortably off $10 Million then there is something wrong with you, and it's not the tax code.

And after he uttered that little right wing talking point gem, he said something along the lines of; "and that's why we need a flat tax, so everyone pays the same."

Everyone pays the same?

I've heard this argument before, and it always bugs me, simply because it's a distorted version of fairness that is so simple, so easy to believe but in reality makes no sense and doesn't account for the massive inequality it would create. Just like other right wing policies I know of.

A flat tax is not a fair tax, and it's not something that works in reality, at least not if you want a strong middle class. It makes the poor pay more, and the rich pay less. The rates may seem fair, but the impact is disproportionate. The rich will simply get richer and the poor, poorer.

Not only that but the loss of revenue from the rich paying less will not be made up by the broadening of the tax base. This will lead to massive cuts in social programs that also impact the poor as they are the ones who rely on those programs.

Talk about kicking people when they're down, all so Mitt Moneybags Romney can get a tax cut?

Fuck that.

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