Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 7, 2012

Johnston: Romney, Ryan, and Tax-Free Living

Reuters:  Romney & Ryan on Tax, by David Cay Johnston:

Together Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have put human faces on how the super-rich game the tax system to pay less, pay later and sometimes not pay at all. Both want to expand tax favors for the already rich, like themselves.

Their approach favors dynastic wealth with largely tax-free (Romney) or completely tax-free (Ryan) lifestyles, encouraging future generations of shiftless inheritors. What we need instead is a tax system that encourages strivers in competitive markets, not a perpetual oligarchy.

Romney and Ryan say that lowering tax rates and reducing or eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends, while letting huge fortunes pass untaxed to heirs, will boost economic growth and mean prosperity for all.

We already tried parts of that, starting with Ronald Reagan in 1981 and doubling down with George W. Bush in 2001. Empirical result: Flat to falling incomes for the vast majority, weak job growth, but skyrocketing incomes for the top one percent of the top one percent, including Romney. ...

[F]undamental tax reform ... honors the time-tested -- and therefore profoundly conservative -- principle of making those who gain the most from society bear the heaviest burden. Romney and Ryan would shove that burden onto those with less, a radical plan by an oligarch and his partner in promoting tax-free living for the richest Americans.

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As I often point out here, one should read the full column -- rich with details -- before posting comments.

The comment above is as inane as the fake name attached to it.

The paper to which it refers does an excellent job of dissecting the official data, but of course the official data at the top seriously understate reality.

Posted by: David Cay Johnston | Sep 8, 2012 6:21:01 AM

It's too bad that hysterical, fact-starved, personalized rants like this have a role in the debate. Far more reasoned, readable and worthy of referrals is Vox EU's Income taxation of US households: Facts and parametric estimates .

Posted by: Yo Gabba Gabba | Sep 7, 2012 2:35:48 PM