Herman Cain has his “9-9-9” plan. Rick Perry has announced his new “Flat Tax” plan. Before the primaries roll around almost all the GOP candidates will have articulated their idea of tax reform. The problem is they all amount to the same thing the Republicans are always pushing: tax breaks for the wealthy, and tax increases for everyone else.
Under the “9-9-9” deal – which doesn’t sound like a sale on pizza by accident – low-income people will get hit with a double whammy of new taxes. As the consumers most vulnerable to price increases, adding a federal sales tax will simply reduce their purchasing power, thus hurting them and hurting retailers who will sell fewer items. And a 9% income tax will hit those who currently pay no income tax even harder, reducing their ability to afford fundamentals like housing.
Of course “9-9-9” is a boon for many. For the middle class it could actually reduce taxes if people are careful about making purchases. And for the small percentage with the most wealth it’s like a license to pay no taxes at all – as if they needed any more breaks than they already get.
Likewise, Perry’s flat tax is a re-distribution of debt on to the backs of the poor and the middle class, and another massive tax break for the rich. The idea behind the flat tax is it closes all loopholes and tax breaks, so the loss in percentage paid is made-up through more actual amount. But that is some strange math that doesn’t balance, especially as every corporate lobbyist in Washington is going to show up with a bag of money and a list of new tax breaks their clients want. Strange isn’t it how “redistributing wealth” is socialism, but redistributing debt is “capitalism”.
In the midst of all this tax reform blather, the fact that the people who are getting hit with these taxes can’t afford health care is totally forgotten. Maybe after you poor folks pay your new taxes, and cut-back on food and electricity, you’ll be able to make a fat monthly premium payment to some blood-sucking insurance company. You’d better hope so – because the only way the conservatives can pay for their flawed and malicious tax programs is to gut programs like Medicare. So not only will the majority pay more for everything, they will have fewer options and little help from the government.