Seventy years ago Oliver Hardy said to Stan Laurel, "Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into." Well guess what, they’re back.
It took one super smart person from Harvard and one genius from Yale to come up with all that creative financing that has virtually destroyed our financial markets. Now we have 545 (mostly confused and misdirected) elected officials trying to fix the problem, when most of them are still trying to figure out how much taxes they still owe.
Why try and create the wheel all over again when the easiest way to stimulate the economy would be to cut the tax rate by one third immediately. Not a lot of paper work or attorneys that have to stay up all night burning $4.00 a gallon of gasoline.
A tax rate cut could go into effect immediately and be retro-active to January 1st 2009. Federal tax withholding on worker’s paychecks would drop. This would immediately put more money into the economy and stimulate to every tax payer to go out and spend. Businesses would have to hire more employees to take care of the demand. Inventories would diminish immediately and warehouses and manufactures would be forced back to full production. This would not be such a bad thing for retailers, trucking companies and media sellers; we might even generate enough sales tax revenue to help many states out of their financial deficits.
Manufactures might have to come up with new ideas to help fill the demand from all the new consumers. Maybe a lot of new American technology could come out of this idea that if you work harder and smarter you can have more money to buy more and more.
What if the tax rate for wage earners under $50,000 would only be taxed at 5%, there would be almost no incentive not to file a tax return. If a delinquent tax amnesty period can be mixed in with this new tax rate (at two thirds of what they are now and taxed at only 5% for the first $50,000) an enormous amount of previously (1) untaxed income, (2) under reported income and (3) creative deferred income from previous years would be reported. This would bring in billions of new tax revenues into the government’s coffers.
Imagine if the Capital Gains Tax were reduced to 10%. There would be no need for real estate 1031 tax deferred exchanges or other types of tax free heavens for large tax payers. It would be cheaper to pay taxes than to hire lawyers, consultants and tax specialists to help defer the taxes into the next lifetime (or possibly never). This would be a tremendous wind fall for the IRS. For decades, most large profitable transactions have been made with no tax benefits to the State or Federal governments. With this modification, the government can tax the billions of dollars being made through tax deferred exchanges which are now mostly tax free.
The only losers I can see in this scenario are all those hard working people in Washington DC who are trying to help us out. They will lose out on their share of the billions and billions of dollars in “pork” that will be created from all the bail out programs coming to us in the next few months.
The way I see it, the new “change” in Washington will be the same old tune. The rich will continue getter richer while the bottom 50% of the population, who truly needs the help, will end up with the same thing they have been getting for generations. It’s time to wake up our new (recycled) elected and appointed officials.