Thursday, October 29, 2015

A for audacity

Ted Cruz has apparently proposed a new tax reform plan that would create a two-bracket income tax for individuals, with a $36,000 exemption (or zero bracket) amount and a 10% rate above that - along with a $25,000 tax-free savings account, no payroll tax, no corporate income tax or estate tax or alternative minimum tax or Obamacare tax, etcetera.  It would be accompanied by a 16% VAT.

Obviously, the revenue loss under this plan, using reasonable rather than insane estimating assumptions, would be absolutely staggering. (We really would become Greece, or at least Kansas.) But the truly audacious, or should I say brilliant, aspect of this, as a marketing matter, is that he calls the VAT a "16% business flat tax." So it almost seems as if "business" is paying tax at a higher rate than "individuals" - if you don't realize that the business tax is actually a VAT, which would rather change the optics.

UPDATE: In fairness, I should note that, leaving aside the arguably misleading verbal description, there's nothing unprecedented (in terms of proposals, including those by academics) about Cruz's putting a VAT in place of corporate income taxation. And every announced tax plan from a Republican candidate is both extremely regressive at the top and wildly fiscally irresponsible.


Anonymous said...

I wish then to repost here my plan to tax poverty into history, to make poverty an unaffordable luxury by taxing it so that the poor be incentivized to become rich.

It is a progressive tax rate system, where since all progress is achieved by the desire to become richer, being richer is incentivized:

* 50% tax rate for "lazy parasites" with income below $36,000.
* 25% tax rate for "loser mediocrities" on income $36,000 to $70,000.
* 10% tax rate for "barely trying achievers" in income $70,000 to $150,000.
* 5% tax rate for "should try harders" on income $150,000 to $500,000
* 0% tax rate for "productive workers" on income $500,000 to $1,000,0000.
* 5% negative tax for "wealth creators" on income $1,000,000 to $10,000,000
* 10% negative tax for "benefactors of humanity" on income above $10,000,000.


Daniel Shaviro said...

Dynamic estimate: zero net revenue, but it won't matter because no one will need the government.