Wednesday, January 04, 2012
The Republican Candidates' Tax Proposals
The American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches has a neat graphic of the Republican presidential candidates' tax proposals. Three want to impose a flat tax, that would of course massively benefit the rich. In a similar vein, six would seek not just to lower the estate tax, but eliminate it altogether (alas, a standard position in their party). Because the estate tax already has a very large exemption built in (currently, it's 5 million for an individual), it only affects the most wealthy individuals, and even they can still pass on a tremendous amount of wealth. So, most of the Republican field favors measures that would simultaneously massively benefit the most rich and make the deficit they claim to care about so intensely... much worse. (Note that this chart still counts Michele Bachmann, who only recently dropped out, but not Herman Cain, who also proposed a flat tax, lowering the corporate tax rate, and eliminating the estate tax.)
Most likely, none of this is news to any regular readers, but head over to check out the whole graphic. (Hat tip to Blue Gal, who's running MBR this week.)
Estate taxes are a very old concept, arguably the most progressive part of our tax system, and one of the few remaining bulwarks against complete plutocracy in America. There are many reasons to oppose the Republican Party as it currently stands, but the almost uniform commitment of its leaders to immoral and irresponsible policies in the taxation/fiscal/economic realm, and their decades-long bad faith on such issues, is certainly way up there.
Update 1/5/12: Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice has more on Romney's tax proposals. In a huge shock, Romney, the richest of all the candidates by a long shot, proposes giving himself another huge tax break (and raising taxes slightly on the poor).
As a few people have noted, they're really all cartoon villains at heart, aren't they?