By Paul Davis
It has been 30 years since Congress seriously considered tax reform, so the discussion is long overdue. President Trump and Republicans in Washington deserve credit for starting the discussion and offering ideas. Unfortunately, the tax plan making its way through Congress too closely resembles the failed Brownback tax experiment that Kansas just repealed.
Real tax reform for real people should accomplish three things: close loopholes that allow the politically connected to game the system, reduce the tax burden on middle class and lower income families, and not increase the nation’s budget deficit.
Nonpartisan scorekeepers project that the president’s plan will raise taxes on every American family earning less than $75,000 in order to pay for permanent corporate tax cuts.
It will wreck the health care market, stripping health insurance from millions, raising insurance premiums and triggering a $25 billion cut to Medicare.
It pushes higher education out of reach for thousands of Kansans who are working to build a brighter future for themselves.
It explodes America’s $20 trillion national debt, something Republicans and Democrats agree is the gravest long-term threat to our national security.
It eliminates state and local tax deductions, which will send Kansas’ fragile budget — still recovering from the wreckage of Brownback mismanagement — right back into crisis.
In other words, this tax plan is a bad deal for Kansas.
I say that instead of raising taxes on hardworking Kansas families, let’s cut them. Our tax code is riddled with loopholes. Most of these loopholes benefit big multinational corporations and the wealthiest Americans. They don’t help middle class Americans, they only help widen the gap between the very rich and the rest of us. The time for us to close these loopholes is now!
Big oil companies benefit from billions of dollars of tax loopholes. Other big multinational corporations aren’t paying their fair share of taxes too because they hide their profits outside the United States. If these loopholes and others are closed, we can recoup $900 billion in the next 10 years.
My proposal is to take that $900 billion and put it all into tax cuts for middle and lower income Americans.