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A Federalist approach to tax reform

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“Tax Reform.”

What do I mean when I use that term?  Politicians and elites of all stripes and colors tend to muck up the definition with nebulous platitudes that poll well.  The American people then end up believing the way the politicians and media have conveniently twisted and contorted the meaning of tax reform.

Real tax reform, fundamental overhaul of the entire system, is one third economics, and two thirds political.

On taxes, the Left doesn’t really make tax reform a priority, only to talk about their “middle class tax relief,” but only if tax relief is important enough to sway elections.  Why would they prioritize reform, they already have the progressive, direct tax system that they want, thanks to the racist centralizer Woodrow Wilson?

On the Right, the Republican base hates the current tax code, so tax reform is red meat to make campaign promises.  However, GOP politicians and their consultant class figured out they only need to pay lip service to tax reform, but then settle on mere tax cuts for jobs and growth.

Don’t get me wrong, supply-side tax cuts and deregulation (if we can get it) do provide growth in that moment in economic history when it’s implemented.  Nevertheless, the overall trajectory of taxation is still in the direction of the government stealing more of our property.  What has the supply-side, temporary growth really achieved?

The American people and the media have essentially defined tax reform as simply tweaks and cuts to the tax code to provide either relief or growth, depending on which side of the political spectrum you’re on.  It’s the government’s money to begin with, and the people are just cogs in the economic machine to redistribute wealth.


In the news…

White House plan for tax cuts moves forward – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/white-house-plan-for-tax-cuts-moves-forward/2017/09/21/d1482576-9eea-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921_story.html?utm_term=.e5eb6dd9a420&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1The White House plan for a massive package of tax cuts is gaining new momentum as Republicans attempt to set aside months of intraparty squabbling and unify behind a key part of President Trump’s agenda. Two developments are accelerating the effort: Key Senate Republicans reached a tentative deal this week to allow for as much as $1.5 trillion in tax reductions over 10 years; and there is a growing willingness within the GOP to embrace controversial, optimistic estimates of how much economic growth their tax plan would create. Those upbeat estimates, often rejected by nonpartisan economists, would supplant the traditional forecasts offered by official scorekeepers at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, helping lawmakers argue that the plan would not increase the national debt.


The Washington Post is reporting the Trump White House has a plan to push “massive tax cuts,” and that it’s apparently “gaining new momentum,” whatever that means.  But nobody, I mean none, talk about reforming the tax system to a new tax code.  All the talk is centered around who’s relief or cuts is better for the economic growth and jobs for the country broadly, and for the middle class specifically.  Oh, and apparently every economic plan has to take 10 years to go into effect, then they get to squabble over whether to make it permanent or let it expire.

I’m always equally intrigued and dismayed by news of White House plans and Republican attempts at tax reform.  Intrigued because we’re in desperate need for a tax overhaul, but I’m dismayed because I know what they usually mean by “tax reform.”

Real tax reform, fundamental overhaul of the entire system, is one third economics, and two thirds political.  Yes, there is an economic component to taxes; we are dealing with finances and money after all.  But the primary function of taxation concerns the political nature of funding government.  Therefore, the primary questions tax reform must address: what is the size and scope of the government that needs funding, and what type of government are we needing to fund?

In our Constitutional Republic, we used to have a federal government of independent states.  Is progressive direct taxation appropriate for our form of government?  Or do we need a federalist tax system that “eliminates all direct federal taxes and replaces them with a uniform, flat federal tax on the gross government revenue of each state.”

It’s called the “Neutral Tax.”


LEARN | Neutral Tax

http://www.neutraltax.com/learn/What is The Neutral Tax? The Neutral Tax is a flat, federal tax on gross state government revenue

Read The Neutral Tax White Paper Sound interesting? The Neutral Tax White Paper Read more…


It’s a reform that recognizes that we are constitutionally structured as a federal union of United States, not a national government with glorified counties and municipalities.  It takes into account that each state is different and “eliminates the federal government’s micromanagement of tax policy.”  The Neutral Tax restores the sovereignty of each state in domestic and economic affairs.

We can debate the economics of what the rate of the Neutral Tax ought to be in due time, but for now, what is the politically and constitutionally more appropriate tax system for our political system of government?

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Federalists

The most important thing George H. W. Bush said is a lesson for today

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The most important thing George H. W. Bush said is a lesson for today

All Presidents have their share of great quotes. Speech writers are paid to spin words in a way that is catchy, intellectual, and understandable. President George H. W. Bush said many great things in his life, but none were as important for today as his perspective on government.

The only addition I would make is that true governance under the Constitution starts at the individual level. He may not have been the biggest proponent of limited-government federalism the way his predecessor was, but that doesn’t change the importance of his message.

“The heart of our government is not here in Washington, it’s in every county office, every town, every city across this land. Wherever the people of America are, that’s where the heart of our government is.”

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Federalists

What Stacey Abrams gets right about moving forward from the Georgia election

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What Stacey Abrams gets right about moving forward from the Georgia election

Democrat Stacey Abrams possesses some pretty radical political ideologies. I completely disagree with her far-leftist rhetoric or the agenda she hoped to bring to Georgia as governor. Republican Brian Kemp is the next governor, which even Abrams admits.

But she refuses to concede that she actually lose the election. She’s clear that Kemp is the governor-elect, but she falls just short of saying that his victory is illegitimate.

That’s all political theater. Here’s what she gets right. Georgia and many states need to clean up their election practices. Laws should be passed. Other laws should be removed. Ballot access for American citizens must be protected and the process must be made as easy as possible without jeopardizing accuracy or opening the doors to fraud.

Most importantly, this must be done through a combination of the legal system and the state legislature. At no point should she or anyone else try to turn this into a federal issue.

People on both sides of the political aisle seem to be leaning towards fixing election problems at the national level. This would be a huge mistake. The states must clean their own houses. The residents of the states must be the catalyst. Keep DC out of it.

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Federalists

Be careful about calling for more national election laws

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Be careful about calling for more national election laws

We’re starting to hear rumblings, mostly from Republicans, calling for national standardization of elections. It’s understandable that people are frustrated by what’s happening in Florida. Arizona and Georgia also have some questionable happenings. But it’s imperative as conservatives that we allow the states to fix the problems no matter how bad they may seem.

The biggest reason: the more the federal government gets involved in just about anything, the easier it will be for voter fraud, counting mishaps, and election official corruption to occur. Take, for example, calls ringing out again for national voter ID. Would it make it harder for non-citizens to vote? Perhaps. But it also runs the risk of catastrophic failure when we centralize and/or digitize the voting system itself. Not only will all of our eggs be in one basket that becomes a single point of failure, but it also slows the process of adjusting against threats. Sophisticated vote manipulators in or out of the country would love nothing more than a federalized voting system.

Taking away the states’ responsibility to administer their voting protocols takes away their accountability as well. Calls for centralization of nearly every other component of administration, from education to the environment to healthcare, has resulted in horrific results that greatly overshadowed the localized problems they were intended to fix.

Some states are having major problems with elections. These states must fix their problems. When the federal government gets involved in sweeping changes that force solutions for isolated cases on the rest of the country, more problems arise. The benefits are greatly outweighed by the detriments.

Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes is incompetent, corrupt, or both. She needs to be replaced and the voting process in Florida needs to be fixed. Let Broward County and Florida replace her and fix their voting process. It may be hard to have faith in the county and state, but do we really have more faith in Washington DC? Should we be calling for more centralized voting laws and protocols because of a few persons’ gross negligence?

No.

It’s frustrating when local officials can affect national elections, but that’s why people can vote them out and force reforms. Where it’s broken, let those states fix it. Bringing in a DC solution will give us DC results, and that’s almost never a good thing.

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