It appears we have a tax cut bill that’s been passed in the House and Senate and will be signed law by President Trump before Christmas. Yes, I do have to ponder, why did it take so very long? Of course, the usual suspects, the progressive socialists, are still ranting about “Armageddon” and folks dying and the end times.
I have to wonder if they’ve been checking out their 401k accounts recently. I find it very amusing how the left always touts folks paying their “fair share” and there’s too much income inequality in our America. Over the past eight years, the left has sought to bring the culture of the participation trophy into the tax code, using it as a weapon of mass destruction in order to mandate their ideological agenda.
And those Democrats who voted against this tax bill just revealed what they’re really against: they just voted against America’s economic growth and individual economic empowerment. That’s a clear message American won’t soon forget.
So what is the real ground zero truth about taxation in America? The truth is that the top 20 percent of wage earners in America pay nearly 80 percent of the federal tax revenues…how much “fair share” is required in order to feed the abominable monster known as the federal government’s spending appetite?
I wanted to share a very insightful bit of truth with you as well; it truly tells the story.
As reported at Townhall.com by Terence Jeffrey, “Of the 150,493,263 filers who submitted individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax year, only 99,040,729 paid any income tax at all.
Together, those Americans paid a record $1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes — for an average of $14,720 per taxpayer. The other 51,452,534 — or about 34.2 percent of all filers — did not pay a penny. Their average income tax payment was $0.
This is a fundamental divide in the American tax system. On one side are those who do pay taxes; on the other, those who don’t. And the divide gets worse. There were 30,417,609 filers who did not pay income taxes and received $89,614,869,000 in cash back from the federal government. In other words, they got $89,614,869,000 in welfare payments. We know this because the IRS tells us so. It calls the $89,614,869,000 in cash that the federal government paid to tax-return filers who paid no taxes the “refundable portion” of “refundable credits.”
“Refundable credits were broken out into three parts: the portion used to offset income tax before credits, the portion used to offset all other taxes, and the refundable portion,” the IRS explained in its comprehensive report on the individual income taxes it collected for 2015 (the latest year for which the data is available).”
I suppose this is what some would term as “fair?” Now, I’m the first to realize there are indeed those who need a safety net, but I do not agree with a hammock theory. As well, I believe every wage earner in the United States can, and should, pay something for the constitutional responsibilities the federal government is tasked to provide — namely our defense.
What we have within this progressive tax system — and that was first advocated for by Karl Marx — based on these numbers, is a wealth redistribution scheme at the highest levels. As for this GOP tax cut bill, it is not tax reform. We find that President Trump had wanted three individual brackets, the GOP House wanted four, the GOP Senate wanted to keep all seven. And as of my writing,, it seems we’ll still have seven tax brackets, and that the top tax bracket on the individual side only decreases by two percent.
We had one Senator Marco Rubio demand his idea about doubling the child tax credit be part of the final legislation or else he was a no vote. In the end, doesn’t Sen. Rubio’s amendment reflect yet another case of expanded welfare payments masquerading as a “tax credit?” At some point in time, we need statesmen who will not see our tax code as a means to manipulate certain demographics, all for electoral gain. We should not have a tax system, and legislators crafting it, who believe it’s their duty to decide the winners and losers. The guiding principle should be what is best for our economic growth and the economic empowerment of the individual American citizen. The other guiding principle should be to balance the federal government books.
We do not have a taxation or revenue, issue in America; we have a spending issue at the federal government level. The premise should never be that we have to advance a tax policy that covers the wasteful spending of Washington DC — they call it “pay for.”
The federal government must end the budgeting practice known as “baseline” which guarantees an increase in their spending each year — a cut in the rate of that increase is not a cut in spending. The federal government needs to do as every American household and business does…start from zero, ensuring the spending matches the revenues – i.e. zero-based budgeting. If we do not institute this doctrine, then the federal government will continue to run massive deficits, hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth. And we will continue to see the debt rise, due to borrowing more money to cover the incessant spending disease.
Who in America can operate their financial house like the federal government does? And when the incompetence of not being able to do their most basic task, pass appropriations bills, then we have the absurdity of continuing resolutions (CRs) that turn into massive bloated omnibus spending bills…never a defined budget. We also need to reform the Congressional Budget Office because their “static” economic analysis is antiquated and does not reflect the dynamic qualities of our economy and economic growth.
Will some folks be seeing savings in their withholding statements? Sure, the line is that there will be on average $2,000. The Democrats are balking at this, but when it was President Obama giving $800 in “stimulus” payments to folks, cash for clunkers, and other gimmicks, the left was praising these efforts — and we still got less than two percent GDP growth.
What the GOP needs to implement is a measure by which over the next year, Americans can actually see the savings they have. Now, I must ask, will this tax cut bill be retroactive to January 1, 2017? Sorry, but I tend to believe that the longer it takes to become law, the tendency is that it will not happen. Regardless, this has to be something that can be explained in two minutes or less, if that’s not attainable, then it’s still complicated. And maintaining some seven tax brackets is still complicated.
If I were there in Congress, would I have voted for this tax cut package? Reluctantly so. I’m not thrilled with the individual tax side, but do support the cuts in the sub-chapter S-Corp, LLC (small business) and corporate business rate. I also am in agreement with the repatriation of corporate profits off shore at a lower rate. I would want it all to be retroactive to January 1, 2017. I still find too much wealth redistribution and special interest reflected in this tax bill. And, I am tired of the tired old excuse of doing something is better than not doing anything…I just wish that something was substantive, bold, and principled.
Remember, the corporate tax rate change is permanent…not the individual. Yes, we are experiencing record economic growth numbers, and I believe this will promote that growth, but this is not the end, not a panacea. The most important thing now is messaging and execution, and continued refinement. I still yearn for the day when our individual tax rate is only 3-4 brackets, flat, and the “tax credit” and exemptions are very few.
Perhaps that day will come, if I have anything to do with it.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]