Cut Taxes, Don’t Raise Them

After days of debate and name calling, the Buffet Rule was defeated in a procedural vote on Monday. 51 Senators voted for the bill and 45 Senators voted against it. Immediately, Democrats attacked Republicans for protecting the rich, at the expense of the poor. To a certain extent, they had a point. It’s grossly unjust to have people making millions of dollars every year and paying less income tax than the guy across the street who only takes in $40,000 a year. It would be ludicrous to argue that that’s acceptable, especially when equality is stressed so much by both sides. However, raising taxes is not the best way to close this gap. Cutting taxes for the middle and lower classes; that’s how the gap should be closed.

Instead of focusing on raising taxes on the wealthy, Congress should be focusing on cutting taxes for the middle and lower class. If there is this great difference in tax rates (and according to the IRS, it does exist), then why don’t we try to cut the high taxes instead of increasing the low taxes? To me, this would be a far more reasonable solution to our tax problem, because even if taxes are raised for the super rich, revenues will not automatically increase. In fact, due to adept “tax-evasion” tactics that many wealthy Americans employ, revenues would most likely fall. As such, even though the effective income tax rate would be at least 30% for the wealthy, many of them would be able to figure out a way to pay far less than that number, thus making the Buffet Rule completely devoid of purpose. Tax cuts, on the other hand, increase consumer spending, resulting in more jobs, bigger profits, and economic growth. By cutting taxes for the middle and lower classes, instead of raising taxes on the wealthy, Congress would spur the economic expansion that this country desperately needs.

Unlike most conservatives though, I’m not going to try to convince you that tax cuts automatically reduce the deficit. Even though they can increase revenues, and do lead to more economic participation by consumers, they can also wreak havoc on our debt. Just look at Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. They cut taxes, which is great, but also increased spending. As a result, the national deficit exploded during both of their Presidencies. Tax cuts must be accompanied by cuts in spending, so that they do not become a drag on national revenue. Without budget cuts, cutting taxes leads to increased debt. I know this may come as a shock to some, but as far as I can see, it’s the truth.

So, what’s my solution? First, keep taxes for the wealthy similar to what they are now. Increasing taxes on the some of the biggest job creators in this country is not a good way to decrease unemployment. Second, cut taxes for all those in the middle and lower classes. Third, cut spending. Spending needs to decrease if this nation is to move forward. The Department of Defense must be included in those cuts.

I believe that a graduated income tax is fair, so I would cap income taxes on the upper class (annual earnings of $250,000 or more) at 25%, income taxes on the middle class (annual earnings of $40,000 – $249,999) at 20%, and income taxes on the lower class (annual earnings of lower than $40,000) at 15%. On top of that, I would decrease the maximum corporate tax rate from 35% to 30%. I would also completely eliminate estate taxes.

With these tax cuts, and these tax cuts alone, our debt would skyrocket. However, by cutting spending substantially, and re-structuring both Medicare and Social Security, they could be paid for.

The Buffet Rule had the right idea. The wealthy should be paying at least the same in taxes as those with less income. That makes sense. However, the way the Democrats tried to reach this goal was wrong. Cutting taxes, as well as cutting spending, is the best way to boost the economy and get America moving again.