Paul Hogarth: When it comes to crafting state budget policy, Sacramento’s leadership never bothers to consult the grass-roots – cutting deals with big business and a small handful of unions, and then expecting the rest of us to take our marching orders.
Robert Reich: All flat-tax proposals benefit the rich more than the poor for one simple reason: Today’s tax code is still at least moderately progressive. The rich usually pay a higher percent of their incomes in income taxes than do the poor. A flat tax would eliminate that slight progressivity.
Wendy McElroy: If America’s most aggressive state crackdown on the “gray market” in used goods proves to be revenue-enhancing, other cash-starved states are likely to follow Louisiana’s lead.
Robert Reich: Simple fairness requires three things: More tax brackets at the top, higher rates in each bracket, and the treatment of all sources of income (capital gains included) exactly the same.
Craig Williams: The best cure for California’s budget problems might be a big statewide tax reform campaign based on the commercial property tax legislation proposed by the progressive organization Cal Tax Reform (CTR) and sponsored by Assembly member Tom Aminao.
Walter Brasch: “There are four million words in the IRS Code,” said Marshbaum. “Lower-class and middle-class Americans get a few thousand of those words. The rest of the code is a roadmap to help the wealthy and their corporations avoid paying taxes.”
Tracy Emblem: Let’s give the new legislation which provides tax breaks and job incentives for “small businesses” time to work before blindly accepting McConnell’s argument that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses. We must start closing the deficit gap.
Tom Degan: The debt that the United States has incurred in the last ten years is now at a level where it’s probably insurmountable. The only solution (and that’s assuming there is a viable solution) will involve taxes – decades of serious taxation.
Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.
Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.