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August 07, 2012

Glenn Reynolds: Let's Raise Taxes 'Till It Hurts

...those who forever call for higher taxes.

here's an old joke about a boy who complains to his mother that his little sister keeps pulling his hair.

"Oh," responds the mother, "she doesn't know that it hurts."

A few minutes later, the mother hears the girl scream and runs into the other room. "She knows now," the boy explains.

There's a lesson for Republicans in that old joke, if they're smart enough to absorb it.

For the past few years, there has been a drumbeat in favor of increased taxes from Democrats of all stripes. Make the rich pay their "fair share." Get rid of "loopholes." Make the fat cats "chip in a little more." Then Democrats hold up budgets and bills in an effort to extract some tax increases from Republicans.

It's no coincidence that much of the Democrats' base doesn't have to worry about taxes much, either because they work for nonprofits and public entities that don't pay taxes, or because they live off government benefits, or because they work in industries -- like the motion picture and recording industries -- with a long history of shady accounting and favorable tax treatment. Republicans, if they're smart, can nonetheless teach them that tax increases do, in fact, hurt.

They should head into the next budget battle with a list of proposals for tax increases that will sting Democratic constituency groups, but which will seem eminently fair to voters.

He then lays out a series of proposed changes to the tax code for both Hollywood and the Democrats' infrastructure of left-wing political charities. A reader writes in to suggest further tax hikes. For fairness.

1. Eliminating the charitable deduction for all estates exceeding $500 million in gross value (Buffett, Gates)

2. Since salaries in excess of $1 million to executives are not deductible, extend this same provision to businesses paying such sums for television and motion picture acting, directing, and production. Extend the same provision to the music industry royalties, etc. (Geffen, Redstone, Spielberg, and a host of other left-coast lefties).

3. Keep the pre-Bush cut tax rates (possibly even raise them) on executives who led firms that either took TARP money in excess of $75 million or invested significant sums of money in special debt instruments or shares of firms that took TARP money, or who were paid significant bonus moneys from TARP firms during the periods immediately before they took funds from the U.S. (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GM, Citibank, JP Morgan, etc.) Make these provisions also applicable to capital gains.

...

5. Extending the corporate accumulated earnings tax to all non-profits having cash, investments, and securities in excess of $500 million (Ford foundation, Pew Foundation, Harvard, Yale, etc).


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posted by Ace at 01:41 PM

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