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House Dems Propose "Surtax" on the Wealthy

Washington Post story:

House Democrats looking to spare millions of middle-class families from the expensive bite of the alternative minimum tax are considering adding a surcharge of 4 percent or more to the tax bills of the nation's wealthiest households.

Under one version of the proposal, about 1 million families would be hit with a 4.3 percent surtax on income over $500,000, which would raise enough money to permit Congress to abolish the alternative minimum tax for millions of households earning less than $250,000 a year, according to Democratic aides and others familiar with the plan.

Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House subcommittee with primary responsibility for the AMT, said that option would also lower AMT bills for families making $250,000 to $500,000. And it would pay for reductions under the regular income tax for married couples, children and the working poor.

The AMT is a devious beast which is getting its claws into more and more people who are really middle-class, so anything that would restore the burdens to those who can afford it is fine with me. Certainly it would be one small step in the right direction after many years in which every break has gone the way of the millionares.


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Comments (8)

ke_future:

yeah that's right. we need more money, so let's tax the rich. they can afford it. who cares if it's fair or not that they are already paying a disproportionate amount of the income tax bill. isn't it something like the top 1% have 20% of the wealth but pay 60% of the taxes? (i know, no link. i can't remember where i found the stats)

oh, and i haven't seen anything about the "surtax" being indexed to inflation. if it's not, it doesn't fix the problem with the AMT. it just pushes it out a bit further. to a point where left-leaning people can again say "let's just tax the rich some more to pay for all of this"

Absolutely tax the rich. They are the ones who can best afford it.

John in CA:

I know, I know...let's make the "rich", the top 10% of earners pay 100% of the taxes! Yeah! That's the ticket. We'll show those filthy rich evil bastards! (High fives all around)

Someone speaks up, says but what if they just stop earning as much, just lower their earnings to avoid paying the taxes. (Concerned looks around the room.)

Another speaks up and says, I've got the solution. We'll just legislate that they have to pay taxes at the rate they were paying when we instituted the confiscatory tax rate on them, no matter how much less they earn! That'll show them. (High fives all around.)

Same guy pipes and asks, well, what if we bankrupt them and they can't pay the taxes? (Concerned looks around the room, again)

The problem finally speaks up, that's simple. We'll just call them greedy, selfish evil rich bastards for having the gall to go bankrupt due to our confiscatory tax rates. All they are attempting to due is thwart social progression and justice. Everyone will hate them. (High fives all around the room)

John in CA:

Errr, that last para should read:

The "problem solver" finally speaks up, that's simple. We'll just call them greedy, selfish, evil rich bastards for having the gall to go bankrupt due to our confiscatory tax rates. All they are attempting to do is thwart social progression and justice. Everyone will hate them. (High fives all around the room)

PIMF, PIMF, PIMF...

FMK:

Lee speaks truth to power for the down trodden 250 - 500k families, preach it !!!

The AMT is a mess, but once again Lee proves he has no consistent standard.

Paul Hamilton:

KE, there was a time, and not so long ago, that the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was over 75%. And guess what, they were still wealthy and getting wealthier.

My suggestion is that there be a flat tax -- with no exemptions for anything -- on ALL sources of income that is equal across the board. The way the rich get out of taxes isn't the basic rate -- NOBODY pays that. But they have tax dodges that Joe and Mary Lunchbucket could never dream of with the result that their taxable income is a tiny fraction of what they really bring in. Do you believe that Bill Gates pays the same percentage of his income as that guy down at the Quikee Mart?

So that would fulfill that right wing dream -- having your tax form on a post card and it would FINALLY bring true tax equity to this nation.

So, can I count on your support?

Paul Hamilton:

Oh, and one more thing -- pass a balanced-budget amendment so the government has to operate under the same principles as the average American family. That way we'll see if people like Bush's fat cut buddies REALLY are behind his three-billion-dollar-a-week war or if they just like waving their made-in-China flags when people are looking.

John in CA:

Flat tax, FAIR Tax, I don't care, so long as we scrap the cumbersome tax code we labor under.

After that, I want income tax with holding to go away. I want it to be that every tax payer has to make a deliberate action to pay their taxes - write a check, hit a button on their computer to debit their bank account, whatever. Just so they know every single month exactly what taxes are costing them.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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