I am Canadian. But as my audience is largely American, I will deal with the US tax code for the purposes of this article.
Inflation is a bitch, and in the 1970s, a family of 4 could survive on minimum wage. Today, a single person can’t make end’s meet.
That is all by design. Since 1980, the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich has been striking.
According to Pew Research, income inequality is the widest since 1928, and the 99% are keenly aware of it. That is unsustainable. You can see the destruction of the middle class and the poor for the sake of the uber rich here.
Let’s be frank. The rich don’t pay much in income tax. They pay in capital gains. The top tax rate pays 20% to the feds. Until President Donald Trump took office, the tax rate for the highest income earners, aside from inane loopholes, was about 39%. The corporate tax rate is around 35%, another 4% if you add some state taxes. Trump’s “genius idea” is to lower it to around 21%, which is around the effective tax rate if you include loopholes.
With an increase in spending on things like the military, someone has to pay that bill. But who always pays the bills in America? The Middle Class. While the poor, of course, live at risk of death.
So we’ve isolated the problem. What’s the solution?
- We can start with personal exemptions. Thanks to the theft by the rich upon the middle class, inflation has destroyed the savings of the 99%. If you make $30,000 a year or less, you have zero business paying income taxes. None. Your contribution through consumer spending is enough. If states want to add a sales tax, that’s their right. I’m talking about federal taxation.
- After that, everyone gets a flat rate of 20%, with exceptions for the $30,000-$80,000 incomes in the way of necessities like toilet paper and necessary items for the home and for children. Let’s give the kids their Christmas and birthday presents tax free, shall we?
- If all this means a cut in military spending, pardon my language, but tough shit. With that kind of revenue, you could more than pay for healthcare and free college (at the state level, with some federal funding for poorer states). Sorry, corporations and rich people. The price you see is the price you pay. Filing your taxes will be incredibly easy.
- Healthcare and education would be fully funded, and if the state government doesn’t like it, tough. They don’t have a right to screw over their constituents to make the rich richer.
Don’t think it will work? I live in a country where it largely does, depending on the corporate stooges we elect. Mistakes are made, but what I’m proposing isn’t radical. It’s been tried and succeeded in many countries. But will the mainstream media, owned by corporations, tell you that? Guess again. Your life and health mean nothing to them.