Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's Time to Think Big on Tax Cuts

From the Wall Street Journal:

John McCain needs to show the nation that he has the economic recovery plan to restore long-term economic growth. To do that, he needs to refocus his campaign with a new tax plan. Mr. McCain should come out for an alternative, optional flatter tax system, which he has already supported.

Under this proposal, Americans could file their income taxes under the existing tax code or they could choose instead to pay taxes under a simpler code with fewer deductions but lower tax rates. Building on work already done by Steve Forbes and House Budget Committee member Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, Mr. McCain could propose an optional tax system with just two rates, 10% and 25%, compared to the six rates of the current code ranging from 10% to 35%.

What's more, such a proposal would include a cut in income taxes, and tax rates, for every American who pays taxes. The alternative system would impose no income taxes on the poor and what is often called "the working class" (the bottom 40% of income earners who don't pay federal income taxes now). This proposal would also eliminate federal income taxes on the middle class, the middle 20% of income earners who pay only 4.4% of all federal income taxes today.

The new tax system would allow most Americans to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper, saving them the hundreds of dollars they spend today to have their taxes professionally prepared.

And such a tax reform would be an antidote to the class warfare, neocollectivist tax policies of Barack Obama. If implemented, it would also jump-start the economy. Under this optional tax system, savings would increase and investment would soar as capital around the world is drawn to a suddenly more confident U.S. economy.

This new surge of capital would end the credit crunch, and allow old businesses to expand and new ones to start. Wages would grow, along with the overall economy. And as the world invested in America, the dollar would strengthen, as happened in response to the tax cuts that generated the 1980s Reagan boom. This would ease inflationary fears and pressures on the Fed.

With a strong dollar, the Fed would be under less pressure to try to revive the economy through monetary policy. That would give Mr. McCain the flexibility to push for a new "price rule," which would base monetary policy on prices of a basket of commodities, including gold.

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