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Bush Plans Tax Code Overhaul (
Topic: Society 2:56 pm EST, Nov 19, 2004

Insight into where the tax system may actually go (rather than the wet dream of national sales tax replacing income tax)

] Pamela F. Olson, a former Bush Treasury official in close
] contact with administration tax planners, said the
] president will pursue a tax system where all income --
] whether from wages, dividends, capital gains or interest
] -- is taxed only once. That would mean eliminating taxes
] on dividends and capital gains paid out of fully taxed
] corporate profits. Most investment gains are currently
] taxed at 15 percent.

From an idealistic standpoint, that's not necessarily bad...

] The administration will also push hard for large savings
] accounts that could shelter thousands of dollars of
] deposits each year from taxation on investment gains,
] according to White House economic advisers who have been
] involved with the planning.

And these are probably a Good Thing...

] And any tax reform, according to Treasury Department officials,
] would likely eliminate the alternative minimum tax, a parallel
] income tax designed to ensure that the rich pay income taxes
] but one that increasingly ensnares the middle class.

...because the rich play even more exotic games, and the AMT didn't scale up with wage and investment increases...

OK -- but how to pay for these...

] To pay for those large tax cuts, the administration is
] looking at eliminating both the deduction for state and
] local taxes,

Uh oh...
] and the business tax deduction for employer-sponsored health
] insurance.

Oh shit.
] That would raise nearly $926 billion over five years,
] according to White House and congressional documents.

Eliminating state and local deductions has a substantially disproportiate effect on the blue "United Cities of America", because the local and blue states provide a lot of services that cost money -- we pay more in Pittsburgh than rural PA, because Pittsburgh has to spend more (ok, bad example).

Eliminating Health Care benefits means that all the talk of improving healthcare was bullshit, because now whatever government or private program is going to have to take on a great deal more customers; when business gets a tax break, they might have still had an incentive to provide private health care even in the presence of a public option; with no legislation and no break, only the elite employees and non-profits will bother.

I think we saw this coming.

[well, slightly less than half of us saw it coming anyhow!]

Bush Plans Tax Code Overhaul (

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