As painlessly as possible. Ha,ha.
Currently, the big buzz in the news is presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan. Mr. Cain is essentially telling everyone who points out the regressive nature of his plan, that they haven’t read all the literature and they are comparing apples to oranges. In a nutshell, the three 9’s represent a corporate flat tax, an income flat tax and a sales tax(on new items). The reason experts are rating this as very regressive is that the 9 percent sales tax is on everything new, including food and medicine, which will hit the poor especially hard. Moreover, most of the wealthy earn their income as capital gains and that would be taxed at 0 percent. The unfairness in this plan is striking.
My initial reaction to Cain’s plan was to acknowledge that the simplicity of the plan is very attractive but that is all. So in honor of simplicity, I thought that the easiest way would be to establish the tax rates back to the Clinton era rates, but also introduce 2 more brackets for the upper tier of income earners, 5 million and 20 million. Thereafter, the easiest way to approach the tax issue would be to simply deduct all taxes; federal, state, local and payroll tax from the paycheck. I would also eliminate the payroll cap from Social security and that would eliminate any future shortfall for recipients of these benefits. Medicare is another story, it is much more complicated because medical costs have sky-rocketed and the 1.25% taken out of the weekly paycheck can barely cover our aging population. In order to seriously deal with our future medical care cost deficits, we will need to bite the bullet and simply adopt a medicare for all or better known as the public option.
Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor currently running for the U.S Senator’s seat in MA, put it very clearly when she said that asking for the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes isn’t un-American. It is only fair, since the wealthy didn’t come about their wealth in a vacuum, they used the resources we all share, the roads, public schooling, bridges government loans and such. Ms. Warren is an extraordinary woman, she translates what is really at the heart of the matter so concisely and clearly.
We have lived through the great republican experiment of slashing taxes on the wealthy and corporations and we have learned that the result is extraordinary wealth for the upper classes and no growth for the rest of the us. We have protests going on at Wall Street and all around the country because the economic pain and suffering have made our lives unbearably difficult, we don’t see an end in sight of the hardship and we understand now that it is a direct result of the policies designed to make the corporations and the wealthy, wealthier. Our protests and demonstrations are a direct result of our anger and frustration. Things will need to be shaken up, I’m not sure how change will come, but I do know that it will.