If we really wanted to solve the budget problem (not crisis) then here are some common sense solutions that will never see the light of day:
- Eliminate all exemptions from corporate taxes and lower the tax rate to 8%.
- Tax all corporate bonuses over $1 million at 50% rate.
- Tax Hedge Funds at the same effective rate as any other stock capital gains.
- Eliminate the Bush tax cut and lower taxes on anyone earning less than $500,000.00 per year.
- Put all Americans under Medicare coverage (single payer).
- Temporary tax to sustain the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq (and Libya) – the first wars in our history that have not been sustained by a tax.
This will produce a budget surplus, stimulate the economy, and guarantee the solvency of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It would not require any reductions in the Defense budget, which is rife with waste and fraud.
The Bi-partisan Deficit Committee recommended these solutions months ago. Of course, the pre-requisite condition for any of this to happen would be to ban all lobbyists from participating in the process, which is why their recommendations were D.O.A.
Republicans complain about our corporate tax rates, saying that it is among the highest of any country, but over 80% of Corporations doing business in the United States did not pay any taxes last year as the result of their lobbyists writing the actual tax codes for Congressmen. If Corporations are given the same rights as individuals in this Country, they should be required to pay the same amount of taxes.
Hedge Funds represent a $500 billion industry (if you could call investing an industry) that is virtually untaxed at present. These are funds owned by multi-millionaires who have used a technicality in the tax laws to avoid paying the same capital gains tax that any other investors have to pay. There is a good argument that these are the people who really run our government at present. They are the Koch brothers and other behind the scenes king makers who own Congress.
When the burden of budget cuts fall on the most vulnerable Americans while Corporations and Billionaires are untaxed, it creates an unjust society. The kind of society that cannot survive for long.