November 7, 2011
Everyone Should Pay. It's Only 'Fair.'
Among tax plans offered by GOP candidates, the most noteworthy is not Hermann Cain's 9-9-9 or Rick Perry's optional 20% flat tax, and certainly not Mitt Romney's "hold the line" approach of maintaining the status quo. It is Michele Bachmann's principled insistence that every American should pay something, "if only ten dollars." Bachmann's plan is a thoughtful response to a fatal flaw in the current system under which 47% of American adults pay no federal income taxes whatsoever. Along with standard deductions, non-refundable deductions reduce tax owed to zero for a growing share of Americans. These include credits for child care, education, retirement contributions, elderly and disabled status, and clean energy. Not only do half of Americans pay zero, but a large percentage of them benefit from an array of refundable tax credits offering tax "refunds" for individuals who paid no tax to begin with: in other words, welfare. These refundable tax credits include,...(Read Full Article)