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What Real Tax Reform Could Look Like

What Real Tax Reform Could Look Like

Olivia Alperstein

We don't actually have to cut taxes on the rich, slash services for everyone, and blow a hole in the deficit.

"The latest GOP tax plan is a slimy wet kiss for the wealthiest Americans."
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I think this is an example of missing something about Bernie Sanders. But I will take it further. There needs to be an equalization not all this division and supporting one group over another. This is why healthcare for all is an equalizer not a divider(so right now if you make over $16,000 you pay for healthcare if under you get it free in Calif-a divider) Just as there should be a living wage,and right now in our screwed up economy $15. is what people are fighting for.

It should be the goal in every community to make housing and food affordable for all. And we need to get away from the idea that this all has to be done with money. And my view is this should start through community health centers. Create REAL economic freedom—meaning the necessities of life are in reach for all. Have a community garden,and if you work in the community garden you get food from the community garden–no money exchanged.

PBS Newshour ran a story about a city in Colorado-Eastside Pueblo Colorado-and just think Colorado has something like 1% unemployment yet look at this city. The one major food store closed and they depend on a Dollar General for food. So in the pre-school they are teaching the kids to grow and learn about real food----I would add some farm animals. How can this city be in such a state with supposed strong economic growth. WE NEED TO HAVE SERIOUS THINKING ABOUT HOW ECONOMIES WORK???

What real tax reform could look like?

Zero tax on the first $100,000 earned and 40% on the amount of one’s earnings that is above $100,000. All earners file individually (no more “married filing jointly”), no deductions or exemptions for anybody, for anything, and all income (including all investment income) taxed at this rate.

Per 2015 IRS data (the latest available) this would have brought in only about $200 billion less than the $1.5 trillion in federal income tax revenue that was raised that year (13% less). This could be easily made up by (a) $170 billion…closing the tax deferral on foreign earnings loophole used by the multinationals and (b) $70 billion…disallowing corporations from deducting interest paid.

The top 1% of earners would pay about $400 billion more than they did (most of that being paid by the top 0.1% of earners) and the bottom 99% would pay about $600 billion less.


  1. A person earning, say, $200,000 would pay $40,000 or 20% (less than he is paying now if taking the standard deduction.
  2. A 2-adult household where one earns $150,000 and the other $50,000 would only pay $20,000 (10% of the family income).
  3. A man and a wife each earning $100,000 would pay zero in tax.

To check my math go here and click on “2015”

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I wrote a tax plan, A Radical Populist Budget, available at the blog site Economics Without Greed, http://benL8.blogspot.com. I took some proposals from Representative Jan Schakowsky, and from Jared Bernstein who was chief advisor to former Vice President Biden, and from other sources. I think there is a burning desire to know how to fix our system which is not serving the U.S. workers and population. I had the desire and wrote what I could. I plan to read the Progressive Caucus reform statement. In short: the private net worth or savings of all Americans is 25 times greater than the annual U.S. budget, $96 trillion vs. $4 trillion. We could and should tax in many ways the enormous unused resources stored in these financial assets. We can also easily raise the tax rates to the 1950s level while increasing programs that serve the poor. But more important and lasting are changes to the economy such as union power, rewriting the NLRAct, rewriting corporate governance laws, fixing the international trade deficit, increasing the minimum wage. I think the budget I wrote is impractical, politically, but useful in showing the possibilities.