On J. Peca’s memo regarding the proposed tax bill

Published 12:58 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Make no mistake, James Peca and I are nowhere near being on the same page — about anything and not regarding this tax bill either. Tax reform is an American taxpayer issue, whereas Mr. Peca views it as a politically-partisan issue. That puts us on opposing sides.

Regarding corporate tax, lowering taxes benefits every investor holding positions in those companies. Blue-dog liberals and their counterpart tomato-red conservatives and everyone else who has a pension plan of some sort, all of those investing funds in American corporations ultimately benefit. My bet is that Mr. Peca’s own government pension scheme falls in that category as well.

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On the personal side, however, my argument bears repeating. The promise was to reduce the tax and preparation burden suffered by the average taxpayer in America. This bill falls short on both promises.

To make my view perfectly clear, the current system should be completely eliminated and replaced with a far simpler “fair tax” — one that would affect every resident in the U.S. and eliminate the requirement for complex tax forms that make it expensive and impossible for an average taxpayer to report income at year-end. A federal sales tax would tax all purchases made in the U.S. Wealthy residents who buy yachts, airplanes and luxury cars would pay much more than the average citizen purchasing goods and homes that are not near as expensive. And undocumented residents would have no tax advantage since everything purchased here would be subject to the tax. Even visitors from outside the U.S. would contribute. And the need for tax preparation houses, accountants or attorneys becomes redundant.

Tangled regulations and highly misunderstood tax credits have created a federal government-sponsored welfare payment system out of what was always supposed to be a tax collection agency. Many individuals who pay little-to-nothing into the current system receive thousands for credits engineered by politicians who care far less for the poor than they do about getting more votes for themselves. At the same time, the very rich can pay for lawyers and accountants to bend rules in their favor. So quite frankly, changes are badly needed in order to make the entire system fair for everyone. The disappointing thing about this bill is that while it attempts to do that, as always, (and not unlike Mr. Peca’s own view), it ends up a politically-partisan issue with one group beating up on the other, and once again, the loser is the American taxpayer.

Peter Kapuscinski