Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I don't need to know the specific proposals of Bush's tax reform panel to know that I'm not going to be happy with their proposals... because anything they come up with will have me paying more in taxes than I now am.

It's pretty simple, my reasoning. They're not looking to cut taxes; they're merely shuffling the tax deck in what they hope is a revenue neutral outcome. Which means that, for all of their thinking, for all of the new wrinkles they propose to add to the tax code, for all of the sections that they propose to slice from the tax code, the end result is just going to be a shift in tax burden from one group of people to another group of people.

And I have no doubt that I will be in the group of people for whom they recommend pay more in taxes. How do I know that? Because I am in the group that already pays the most in federal taxes. Since there is NO way that any Presidential panel will ever propose a reform package that calls for those making less money to pay more in federal taxes, I guarantee that the net effect of their proposals will be to make the tax burden even more progressive.

And while that's a sufficient reason to object to the proposals on a personal basis, the proposals can't be justified on a macro-basis either. Contrary to what I am sure will be the spin put out by the panel, it will do nothing to boost economic growth. It will do nothing to boost investment. It will do nothing to boost either consumer or business spending.

You know, if I am going to get reamed for more taxes, I would rather Bush be honest about it. Just come out and admit you're doing it. Don't hide behind the mantle of supposedly reforming the system. He's going to do what his dad did; only he waited until he had a second term in hand and he's trying to disguise his tax hike by calling it reform.

Now, ordinarily, I would expect a conservative President to reject proposals that would do nothing other than shifting the tax burden even more so on the backs of the people who are already paying more than their share of the costs of running this country. I would expect a conservative President to reject proposals that allow even more people than before to totally avoid paying anything in federal taxes. I would expect a conservative President to reject a proposal to dramatically rewrite the tax code when all that is needed is another round of cuts in the tax rates.

But we don't have a conservative President, do we? Nor do we have a particularly bright one, either.

At least, thanks to his particular adeptness at becoming a lame duck, I probably don't have to worry about him using his 'political capital' to ram this through Congress.... any more than we'll see Social Security reform taking place during the next three years.

The countdown to January 2009 continues...