Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Where was this the last eight years?

Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin had an op-ed in the WSJ today outlining the Republicans' alternative budget for this year. Ryan's a good egg, a very small-government Republican, not perfect but a saint by Congressional standards. He is now the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, a position long overdue him. I'd like to see him try to run for President.

Anyway, most of the alternative budget is garbage just like Obama's budget, and keeps spending pretty constant, but there is a nice little component on tax reform:
- Tax Reform. Our budget does not raise taxes, and makes permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax laws. In fact, we cut taxes and reform the tax system. Individuals can choose to pay their federal taxes under the existing code, or move to a highly simplified system that fits on a post card, with few deductions and two rates. Specifically, couples pay 10% on their first $100,000 in income (singles on $50,000) and 25% above that. Capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15%, and the death tax is repealed. The proposal includes generous standard and personal exemptions such that a family of four earning $39,000 would not pay tax on that amount. In an effort to revive peoples' lost savings, and to create an incentive for risk-taking and investment, the budget repeals the capital gains tax through 2010 for all taxpayers.

On the business side, the budget permanently cuts the uncompetitive corporate income tax rate -- currently the second highest in the industrialized world -- to 25%. This puts American companies in a better position to lead in the global economy, promotes jobs here at home, and strengthens worker paychecks.

My, that sounds nice. Too bad Republicans these days are about as powerful as a solar-powered night light. Where the hell was this budget when you guys ran the show? Two-tiered flat tax? (Well, it's flatter than the current system) 25% corporate rate? Repealed capital gains tax? (True, only for a year, but hey, it's a start) Republicans make me sick. They only get principled when the know none of this shit will get passed.

Proposing a budget like this now when they had eight years to easily slide it through Congress is a welcome change, but it is really disingenuous considering it has -500% chance of beating Obama's budget. "A" for effort, though, boys.

1 comment:

  1. Harvey Mansfield has discussed the merits of awarding an "A" for effort. Not a good thing, generally.