What exactly is "Tax Reform"?

My understanding of the problem with the tax code is it’s unfairly biased toward the rich … Warren Buffet pays less percentage of his income in taxes than one of the girls down in the typing pool … that’s not how a “progressive” tax structure is supposed to work, now is it?

It really rips my guts out to know that I’ll pay $15,000 less in Federal taxes than most all of you simply because I fill out a different tax form for my business than you … how is that fair?

Don’t get me started on capital gains taxes … this is a TOTAL ripoff of the middle-class … the single quickest way to tax them out of existence … it’s a national shame I say … we should be embarrassed for ourselves … sheesh …

This sales tax has the exact same problem Reagan’s 1986 reforms had … 30 years of congressional tinkering … riders, amendments, earmarks … you can bet the first exception will be that foreign crude oil arriving along the Texas gulf shore …

And throw some numbers at us … I’d like to see the math …

Here’s a brief summary and comparison of the Ryan and Trump tax plans from last month: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/taxes/120516/ryan-vs-trump-how-their-tax-plans-differ.asp

Both reduce the number of tax brackets, increase the standard deduction, cap (trump) or mostly eliminate (ryan) deductions, and change how capital gains are taxed (reduced, but in different ways.)

So that’s an example.

I’ve also ready about removing the tax on repatriated corporate cash.

Anything else popping up in the news?

I quite agree with anyone who says that the term “tax reform” is only slightly related to whatever the exact proposal is, and is often used to try to disguise what is actually either a straight up money grab by one group or another, or a wholesale political attack on an entire class of people.

However, it is also used more correctly, to differentiate between smaller single-issue tax laws, and more general ones.

As for the Republican platform, and their “ideals,” they show their usual deceit. They use nice sounding phrases to hide the fact that they are completely insane.

**Wherever tax
rates penalize thrift or discourage investment, they must be lowered. Wherever current provisions of the code are disincentives for economic growth, they must be changed. We will not divide the
American people into winners and losers" **

This means that the GOP continues to believe that all tax cuts for the rich are magical, and directly cause increased investment, more jobs, and so on, despite decades of proof to the contrary. Because they KNOW they are lying to themselves and everyone else about this, they add in the florid language quoted here, to try to hide their desire to make all taxes be paid by the middle class alone, behind lofty-sounding pseudo-philosophical nonsense.

If you read it carefully, and you’ve been around young sexual idealists enough, you will recognize the same idea as “we will refuse to commit ourselves to responsible committed sexual behavior, or to telling women the truth at any time, because we believe that all women have the right too dream of a knight in shining armor, as we are pillaging their nether regions and ignoring everything else about their lives.”
We will eliminate as many special interest provisions and loopholes as possible and curb corporate welfare, especially where their erosion of the tax base has created pressure for higher rates."

Note the phrase “as possible” carefully nestled in there, to allow them to declare when the rubber meets the road, that it actually isn’t possible to remove any but the special interest provisions that are favored by Democrats.

**We will be mindful of the burdens on families with children and the impact on an aging population. **

“But of course, we will only pay them lip service, say how sad it is that they aren’t rich, and then do nothing at all to relieve the financial burdens we intend to heap upon them.”

** We will seek simplicity and clarity so that every taxpayer can understand how much of their income is consumed by the federal government.**

“We will use taxpayer money to publish our own propaganda about how much things cost, in order to fool more people in to voting for even more elimination of any government support to non-rich people as we can.”

**Our Tax Principles:
To ensure that past abuses will not be repeated, we assert these fundamental principles. We oppose
retroactive taxation. We condemn attempts by activist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected representatives by ordering higher taxes.
**

As someone correct imagined above, this is a lie-based attack on the (amusingly Republican) Supreme Court justices that okayed the punitive tax hike built in to the ACA. In reality, there was no "ordering of higher taxes " by the Courts. Republicans LOVE to lie about such things, because they have an eager gaggle of conspiracy believers to feed twisted lies to.

**We oppose tax policies that deliberately divide Americans or promote class warfare. Because of the vital role of religious organizations, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies in fostering generosity and patriotism, they should not be subject to taxation and donations to them should remain deductible. **

In other words, although no one has ever tried to prevent actual charity ever, the GOP wants to be able to give tax breaks to any and all pro-Republican groups who are willing to lie, and say that they are charitable or patriotic organisations, even as they spend almost every cent they don’t hand to each other, on propaganda in support of the GOP.

** To guard against hypertaxation of the American people in any restructuring of the federal
tax system, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.**

Sure. This is a straight out lie, since they actually don’t want to eliminate income tax on EVERYONE, just on rich people. The “hypertaxation” they mention is what they think of whenever anyone wants them and their friends to pay ANY taxes whatsoever.

The GOP at their core, believe that all government has only one true function: to pave the way for business people to make unrestricted profits at as close to zero cost as possible. The only reason they grudgingly pay the least they possibly can for the military PEOPLE, is because they need them to provide free protection for shipping and distribution of goods and services. That’s why they are STILL squabbling amongst themselves to try to find a way to at least PRETEND to address health care for the masses, and only paid it any mind at all, because the results of the ACA drove them to it. If they can, they will eliminate ALL social support programs, the National Parks system as we know it (that will become the Free Drilling and Free Forestry and Free Grazing land Bureau if the GOP has their way), and all public education.

I think a big issue with our current tax code is that it is too complex. After taking a couple of accounting classes, one of which was taught by a professor who used to work at a tax agency, I understand a bit more why it is as complicated as it is. But I still think there is something we can do to make it more understandable at a glance to the common person or businessman. I unfortunately do not know enough to say exactly how to make it less complicated.

It used to be alot less complicated.

The tax man showed up, and took what he said you owed.

I can deal with a bit of paperwork.

I think that’s it in a nutshell. At least, that’s the implied promise, although it gets slippery as to who is us and who is them in any given speech.

“Tax reform” is one of those mercurial phrases, like “middle class,” that means whatever each speaker and each listener wants to hear. A pol can thunder about “Tax Reform!” to the most mixed audience imaginable and get a standing ovation… because each person in the audience hears what they think the phrase means.

That was beautiful igor. Every bit of it. You hit their nail exactly on the head. Bravo!

It is complex, but beware of those who promise simplicity. Many people have promoted a flat tax, but the rate structure is a very simple part of the current code. They want the rates to change. They promise simplicity to get people to support it, and hope we won’t notice.

Right - flat tax as a “simplicity” solution is a sham. Once you know you have X taxable income, calculating the tax owed is trivial - it’s literally 1 minute with a calculator. All the complexity come from determining your taxable income, and flat taxes don’t inherently change that.

And as a defense they’ll claim “but oh, we’ll reform deductions at the same time” - yeah, well, if you’re going to reform deductions there’s no reason you can’t do that while also maintaining a progressive tax. It’s a non-issue. Those things are unconnected.

The “Fair Tax” aint. If it is revenue neutral, then the middle class will pay more, the rich will pay less.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_the_FairTax_burden
However, the Panel reported that with an individual and corporate income tax replacement (excluding other taxes) and rebate system, the overall tax burden on middle-income Americans would increase while the tax burden on the very rich would drop…Families with the top 10 percent of cash incomes would benefit substantially from the retail sales tax."

and only people with no understanding of economics want a balanced budget- and in order to get that there would have to be massive increases in taxes.

I have never seen a revenue neutral Flat Tax that doesnt make the middle class pay more and the rich pay less.

By the end of trump’s reign, we may not have a middle class anymore, so there’s that.

It doesn’t even have to be “revenue neutral” - almost any flat rate is going to raise the lower/middle tax levels and greatly lower that of the upper brackets. That’s why it’s strongly supported by three classes of taxpayer: the rich, and idiots who can’t do math.

Oh, we’ll always have a middle class. We’ll just change the definition yet again. :slight_smile:

I love that, can I steal it?

I retain all other rights. :slight_smile:

“Lower the rate, broaden the base” is almost exactly what tax reform means to a lot of the GOP.

Yeah, we have a middle class.

His name’s Bob.

It’s all Lucky Ducky’s fault.

“Tax Reform” by Republicans in opposition means lower taxes.

“Tax Reform” by Republicans with control of government will mean a revenue neutral shuffling of taxes, or a net tax increase. Whenever someone says the words “revenue neutral” you’re probably going to pay higher taxes, unless you are member of a politically connected interest group.

Republicans love to talk about taxes, but spending begets taxes, and they love spending even more than they love talking about taxes.