Originally published with The New Americana.
“Are you satisfied with your care?” If you’d say “no” regarding the current tax system, you’re not alone.
Baymax aside, a new America First Policies poll reports that 82% of the 1,200 registered voters surveyed “think tax reform needs to pass.” As a knee jerk reaction, one could take this as wonderful news! We all know the modern tax model is unfair and we want to see it restructured. The problem is how Americans want to see such reform implemented, and this survey alone doesn’t tell us as much as it might seem.
Here’s what we know, according to Axios:
- 61% of Democrats, 66% of Independents, and 75% of Republicans are unhappy with the current tax system
- 83% of those polled want a “simpler and fairer” tax system and one that provides relief for families with child and dependent care expenses
- 84% want the tax code to be modernized “to encourage corporations to stay in America”
- 76% want a system that will increase wages and “create nearly 2 million full-time jobs” in the U.S.
These are all worthy goals; we want a simpler and fairer tax code, we want booming business in America, and we want more jobs. But how? Words like “fair” mean very different things on opposite sides of the aisle — I might think “flat tax,” but the Left would say “tax the rich.”
Just as an example, here’s a simple, “fair” tax plan according to the Left: 90% marginal income tax for the top 1%, 50% marginal income tax for the top 1-30%, no income tax for the bottom 70%, 100% inheritance tax, 60% corporate tax, no exempt status for right-wing churches, no loopholes.
Fair, right? Not to me, but you can’t argue it’s not simple.
Sadly, these aren’t exaggerations. According to Bernie Sanders, Cenk Uygar of The Young Turks, and Huffington Post, a 90% tax on the top bracket wouldn’t be too high. In fact, Cenk claims America’s former 91% tax contributed to the booming economy of the 1950s, although that’s been debunked by The Blaze as well as Ben Shapiro at Politicon in July.
Interestingly, despite most Americans’ dissatisfaction with the current tax system more generally, a smaller majority (53% according to Pew Research) feel they personally pay “about the right amount” of taxes, with around 40% saying their rate is too high, both among general voters and millennials.
So how can 82% of Americans want tax reform while 53% are okay with their own tax rate? As usual, this boils down to the top brackets. According to another Pew poll, 82% feel that “some corporations don’t pay their fair share,” and 79% believe “some wealthy people don’t pay their fair share.”
So while the average American is okay with his own tax cut, he’s always looking at somebody else to foot the bill. And when 82% think the system needs reforming, remember the same ratio’s ideal reform includes gutting the prosperous. And if we take the word of famed economists Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell, as well as newly named “debate thug” Ben Shapiro, not only is piling taxes on the wealthy morally wrong, it also makes zero economic sense.