Sensible tax reform can be reality if we try

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 15, 2013 

Apparently more by coincidence than by intention, the newly passed Taxpayer Relief Act voids the misbegotten Bush tax rate cuts at $400,000 for an individual, precisely the amount we pay the president. Would that the same logic and symmetry might prevail in a thorough revision of the tax code.

They could start with indexing capital gains to inflation, then defining a long-term gain as 10 years rather than one year, instituting a minimum tax rate for profitable corporations and penalizing rather than rewarding the shift of production and resources overseas.

They could soften that last blow by allowing corporations to deduct from their net taxable profit dividends paid to American stockholders and reported on 1099s, and then close a lot of loopholes.

Fairness would dictate an estate tax set high enough that the great grandchildren of multibillionaires (soon to be trillionaires) would not lord it over the descendants of the rest of us, as well as a fee collected on all financial transactions to mitigate the cost of keeping tabs on Wall Street's excesses. We can all dream.

Robert G. Ghirardelli

Hilton Head Island

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