Tax Increases vs. Real Tax Reform

In December, President Barack Obama succeeded in getting Congressional Republicans to further sully their already tattered Party brand – by getting them to go along with the government taking even more of our money.  For the President and his Democrats – that’s a twofer.

At the end of a long run of terrible policy and messaging decisions – and to avert the self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” – most Senate Republicans and a RINO House bloc voted to keep in place an increase in tax rates on the nation’s job creators.  And on anyone paying payroll taxes.

With all due respect, most Americans are left to think that Republicans thus largely surrendered being the Less Taxes Party.  After all, they agreed to the “fiscal cliff” rate increases they then only partially “averted.” 

Meanwhile, the President is just getting warmed up.  Now he wants to further lighten our wallets by closing tax code loopholes, an idea he rejected just two months ago when Republican Speaker John Boehner proposed it. 

That was then.  Now that the President has his rate increases, he’s back for more even money via the route he just recently dismissed.  He’s the Leviathan’s perpetual Oliver Twist.  This is his warped definition of “tax reform” – raised rates, closed loopholes and entirely new taxes (beware the Value Added Tax [VAT]).

But we need not cede to the Left the term or the idea of “tax reform.”  Congressional Republicans need to immediately put forward proactive, economy-positive ideas.  Real reform is simple – and simple to message.  What we should do is:

  1. End all paycheck withholding, and
  2. Move Election Day to April 16.

Or at least withhold taxes from every other paycheck – so that people would see payday-to-payday just how large the government bite is. 

Meanwhile, the tax code is a tens-of-thousands-of-pages nightmare mess.  Democrats and RINOs together grew it over decades – and love its complexity.  Average Americans cower before the Labyrinth.  And Big Government Minotaurs can hide in the legal thicket as many breaks for their friends as it takes to keep them perpetually elected.  The code – and the American people – are crying out for reduction and simplification. 

Republicans need to draw the line – no more net increases in money to the government.  The Grand Old Party must begin anew – rebuilding their brand on taxes (and spending).  Closing loopholes is a good thing – cutting taxes elsewhere at least dollar for dollar to offset is a better thing.

The President claimed he only raised taxes on the top 2%.  Payroll employees are now realizing that wasn’t true.  A $30,000 employee was hit harder by the President’s “fiscal cliff” “tax the rich” deal than a $500,000 one. 

Doing so sets the table for the hardest part – explaining to America’s $30,000 employees that Republican policies are better for them than Democrats’.  The Democrats say otherwise, but can you really believe them anymore? 

They said ObamaCare would reduce your health insurance premiums – and that wasn’t true.  They said if you liked your insurance, you could keep it – and that wasn’t true.  They said the $1+ trillion “stimulus” would keep unemployment below 8% – and that wasn’t true.  

Republicans must make their policies mean something to Americans.  They have made it infinitely harder on themselves by ruining their Less Taxes, Less Spending brand.  Their policy and messaging fuzziness has allowed Democrats to in the alternative distinctly define them.  The GOP must recapture its mantle by offering to the American people real, meaningful solutions.

Tax reform is a golden opportunity to do so.

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