As Congress argues over extending the Bush tax cuts across the board, once again Republicans–especially the Republican leadership in Congress– are proving themselves to be poor politicians, stupidly allowing themselves to be backed into a corner and characterized as “protecting the rich.” In fact, the Bush tax cuts benefited those in the lower incomes much more than the wealthiest. But Obama and Congressional Democrats are using this issue to hurt Republican chances in November, and distract the electorate from their abysmal record. The important issue here is defeating Obama, increasing our majority in the House and gaining control of the Senate. Then we will be able to radically simplify the tax code and reduce rates for all taxpayers, allowing a free economy to grow, and free workers to earn a good reward for their skills!
To that end, I would like to offer a few suggestions:
Extend the “Bush Tax Cuts,” including the 15% rate for dividend and long-term capital gain income, the standard deduction for married couples and the $1,000 child tax credit, for everyone earning less than $379,151, permanently. This keeps rates low for all but the top bracket, taking that issue off the table for Obama, and encourages Congress to come back next year and begin true tax relief and simplification.
Reduce the threshold for deductible medical expenses to 3% of adjusted gross income. This provides real help in meeting real medical expenses for the middle class, giving the people more power over their own health care, while helping protect the average family from rising expenses.
Restore the 2% cut in the Payroll Tax, which is robbing from Social Security, and replace it with an additional permanent Income Tax reduction of 2% across the board, and 4% for the self-employed. Allowing Obama to cut payroll taxes was one of the stupidest things we could have done because it robbed even more from the already over-burdened Social Security Trust Fund. This corrects that mistake, but protects working Americans–including many small business owners– from another tax hike!
Permanently increase the Social Security Payroll Tax Rate for all employees who are not United State citizens by a total of 5%, and Medicare (FICA) Tax rate by 2% . This is a “win/win” idea borrowed from Norm Adams. It immediately provides increased revenue to Social Security and Medicare, and provides a strong incentive for hiring U. S. citizens.
Begin phasing out the Earned Income Tax Credit by reducing it by 2% each year until it is eliminated. This is another poorly thought out, and misleading “entitlement” that suppresses ambition and underwrites low wages. It promotes unhealthy dependence on “the government” and should be replaced by better job opportunities.
Doug Weiskopf is the Republican Candidate for Texas House District 143.