One of the most important issues in the impending presidential election is tax policy, necessitating that the candidate's positions be closely examined. In the estimation of this "professor," both receive a grade of 'F.'
President Obama has repeatedly made it known that he seeks to let the George W. Bush tax cuts expire for higher-income Americans, increasing the progressivity of the Tax Code to take more from those at the top so as to redistribute their wealth. Not satisifed with a top federal income tax rate of 35 percent, the president would allow the rate to increase to at least 39.6 percent, the tariff which was in effect under President Bill Clinton.
Mitt Romney had little to say about tax policy until he was pushed by the right wing of the party to propose something dramatic, and he did, a stunning 20 percent across the board reduction in current tax rates, which would be expected in and of itself to deny the treasury trillions of dollars over a ten-year period. When Gov. Romney was pressed to explain how we would pay for this initiative, he proposed limiting deductions, but to date, has not stated which deductions would be limited or eliminated, expecting the American people to elect him on the basis of blind faith.
Candidate Romney tells us that we can reduce tax rates and markedly increase defense spending while reducing the national debt, precisely what former President George H. W. Bush termed "voodoo economics" in his 1980 presidential bid against Ronald Reagan.
Neither candidate has proposed a fair, simple system of taxation, in which the federal income tax would be eliminated in favor of a value added tax or consumption (sales) tax. President Obama would never propose such a system because it would impact upon his ability to disproportionately tax the wealthy. One can only speculate about why Mitt Romney has not proposed such a system. Perhaps he is listening to those who benefit form tying the American people into knots as we waste hundreds of billions of dollars and hours each year to comply with the arcane, inane, mystifying and incomprehensible Internal Revenue Service Tax Code. We deserve to be the laughingstock of the world for the manner in which we tax our people, through the most convoluted, bizarre process imaginable. Every effort to "help" the American people through implementing new tax policy has served merely to make even more complex and unwieldy the tens of thousands of pages of Tax Code that have metastasized over decades of tinkering with law.
It is understandable that businesses are refraining from hiring and spending, given that no one knows what tax policy or rates will be in effect beginning next year. This is a nation which now operates on stopgap spending plans, Congress and the president shamefully having failed to approve a budget even when the Democrats controlled the executive and legislative branches.
The American people and American businesses have every reason to expect the worst in an era in which political grandstanding and hyper-partisanship come first and the people come last. When we cry out for a sane, simple and equitable system of taxation, our "leaders", including the presidential candidates, shout back, "We are not listening to you!" Thanks a lot, gentlemen!
It is disappointing that only a small number of Americans are expected to join me in voting for a third-party candidate to lead our nation.