Conservative Republicans Want to Rise Taxes for Low Income Americans and Lower Taxes Again for Millionaires
An oft-repeated Republican talking point is that close to half of all federal income tax filers have no tax liability. Prominent Republicans often imply that these people ought to be paying federal income taxes — and that they don’t is a major cause of the budget deficit.
Last year, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, declared that taxes on the rich should not be raised until the poor are taxed. “I think many taxpayers are skeptical that the answer to our fiscal problems is for them to sacrifice more, when almost half of all households are not paying any income taxes,” Mr. Hatch said.
In April, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, said it was “unfair” that 45 percent of people don’t pay any federal income taxes. Asked if he wanted to increase taxes on these people, he replied, “You’ve got to discuss that issue.”
In May, Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate nominee in Indiana, likened the current split between taxpayers and nontaxpayers to the pre-Civil War division of the nation between slave and free. Consciously using Abraham Lincoln’s famous “house divided” terminology from 1858, Mr. Mourdock said, “When 47 percent are paying no income taxes — they do pay Social Security, but they are not paying income taxes — and 53 percent are carrying the load, we are a house divided.”
In a McClatchy-Marist College poll in early November, 71 percent of Republicans said they believed the poor should not be exempt from income taxes and only 26 percent said they thought the poor should not have to pay them.
This is ironic, because two of the measures most responsible for the rise in the number of nontaxpayers are the earned income tax credit and the child credit — both Republican initiatives. Together they account for 30 percent of the nontaxpaying population, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Once upon a time, Republicans were more concerned about the number of rich people with no income tax liability.
On Jan. 17, 1969, just days before Richard Nixon’s inauguration, the departing treasury secretary, Joseph Barr, disclosed that in 1967, 155 Americans with an income of more than $200,000 had no income tax liability, including 21 with an income above $1 million.
This was considered such a scandal that Nixon sent a tax package drafted by the Johnson administration to Congress with his endorsement. When the Tax Reform Act of 1969 was enacted, including a minimum tax to force rich people to pay something, he praised that provision.
As Nixon said in his signing statement:
A large number of high-income persons who have paid little or no federal income taxes will now bear a fairer share of the tax burden through enactment of a minimum income tax comparable to the proposal that I submitted to the Congress, which closes the loopholes that permitted much of this tax avoidance.
Ronald Reagan defended his tax reform proposal on the grounds that it would reduce the number of nontaxpaying rich people. In a June 6, 1985, speech, he said:
We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. It’s time we stopped it.
Among the specific measures Reagan supported to increase tax fairness was an increase in the tax on capital gains to 28 percent from 20 percent.
From Bruce Bartlett held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and served on the staffs of Representatives Jack Kemp and Ron Paul. Bartlest is partially wrong on one point - the earned income credit - mostly aimed at low income families - was a bi-partisan effort. remember when every once in a while Washington would do something good and bi-partisan. Conservatism has become a joke. It ran up massive deficits and as Dick Cheney explained - "deficits don't matter". Then that Democratic guy became president and suddenly deficits became urgent. Only conservative busted the economy - not a good time to focus on deficits. A time when sane people would focus on rising revenue from the people that can most afford it - the very wealthy.
The knuckle draggers at Breitbarf are trying to recycle the Bill Ayers meme against Obama. Not able to find any actual damning evidence they just make things up - because having all the integrity of a cockroach is a conservative value - #Breitbart.com Bombshell Exclusive: Professor Did Not See Barack Obama at Bill Ayers’ House!