Comments: Taxes and the American Dream

Anne... my you were feeling peevish, eh?

A rambling post? Yes. Worth wading through? Definitely. A little righteous indignation adds a little spice to things.

I think that in principle, your wrap-up is correct: progressive, not punitive taxation should be the law of the land. Some of the details around discriminating between "estates" and "estates" could get a little dicey. Not saying it shouldn't be considered, just saying that it could be difficult and convolute an already obnoxious tax law.

The more pertinent point, I think, was touched on only briefly: tax breaks for corporations. They should be completely outlawed; at both the state and federal level. The corporate tax should be progressive as well, but no breaks, no loopholes, no incorporating off-shore. And there should be incremental taxes - these might be punitive - for those corporations who accrue the benefits of our economy but off-shore work.

I can't remember the various sources for the numbers I've seen that show how quickly we'd close so much of our budget gap if only corporations didn't get away with murder on taxes.

Posted by Charles2 at February 4, 2004 07:52 AM

I agree that distinguishing between different estates could quickly get you into murky territory, but I'd like to think some Big Brains were working on the idea.

Other than that - corporate taxation is yet another tricky issue. I'm not against all tax breaks for corporations - some of them were not only well-intentioned but do, in fact, have good results. But there are many, many provisions that need some serious revision.

The whole "incorporated offshore to avoid taxes' concept drives me bonkers. That needs to be eliminated. I'm not sure how it could be fixed - with the perception of a corporation as a person, you risk infringing the corporation's 'rights' if you start curtailing what they can use for a 'home address' for instance.

I have a lot of thoughts but not much actual knowledge about corporate taxation and since I'm actually sitting here on a conference call at the moment, I'm pretty sure I should start paying attention to my job for a few minutes. :) I'll have to put 'corporate taxation' on my list of things to research.

Posted by Anne at February 4, 2004 08:42 AM