Would you buy a used car from this man? How about a row boat in the desert or ketchup for your sushi? That’s exactly what Sen. Rand Paul and corporate messaging Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore are trying to sell the American people with a new flat tax plan. The Heritage Foundation, billed as a “think tank,” is behind many of the GOP talking points that inform and guide rightwing and corporate media sources. Even conservatives “lamented to the New Republic that Heritage had become a political action group “with a research division,” according to a 2013 piece at talkingpointsmemo.com.
Their lead spokesman is a pseudo-economist, who has spent his efforts in various republican institutes like Heritage or the Cato Institute attempting to convince the poor and middle class that greed is good, profits matter most and Leftists and democrats are the enemy of economic progress. Moore advocates reducing or eliminating corporate taxes, taxes on the wealthy, while raising them on the poor, whom he calls the job creators and innovators, slashing social programs and privatizing social security. A true economist would take a cautiously analytical approach, understanding the dichotomy and contradiction of modern economic theory and practice. He would communicate the reality of an economic spectrum from the very poor to the very wealthy. Instead Moore is simply a propagandist for the wealthy.
Ultimately the economy is an engine, with the necessity for long term health in regular maintenance and evaluation to promote the greatest possible efficiency for that engine. The lubricant for that engine is trust. The fuel is currency, and as with all engines there is also an element, or byproduct of waste. In capitalism that byproduct of waste is debt. And while it may seem strange, a bit of debt is a good thing for an economy. How else would a working class family with a household income of $50 thousand annually afford a $200,000 Dollar home? How would a business grow without unduly leveraging its own viability? The problem is that debt has become the fuel for the engine, sort of like pulling exhaust from your tailpipe back into the engine. Cash has become power and is being horded by a smaller and smaller pool of people. Could your vehicle run efficiently for long if 80% of every gallon was automatically siphoned into the glove compartment? This is exactly what Stephen More and Rand Paul are advocating in their new tax plan.
The details of their new tax plan constitute a direct assault on American national sovereignty in favor of corporate interests. It is also a direct assault in the ongoing effort to do away with the middle class with its unpredictable political centralism and its expectation in the so-called American dream. Both of those desires by average Americans are antithetical corporate desires for control of the economy. That cannot happen in a free thinking society. This week Moore took he and Paul’s scheme, dressed in a matter-of-fact, common-sense costume to a complicit media in hopes of tricking the American people into further surrendering more of their country and agency.
“If you make 10 times more than I do you pay 10 times more tax. It gets rid of a lot of the special interest provisions and loopholes in the code,” Moore Newsmax TV.
Sounds amazing, but would you buy a used car from Moore or Paul? With this new plan Paul and Moore are waving the visor in your face to keep you from looking under the hood at the failing engine. This morning on Salem Radio affiliate in Chicago Moore found willing accomplices to his fraudulent sale, particularly with Dan Proft, who extolled Moore and Paul’s plan, saying that it would put an extra $2000 a month in the pockets of working families. In the plan there would be a 14% across the board flat tax, with no deductions, except, as Moore pointed out, the charitable deductions that Paul insisted remain in the plan. There would be zero payroll deductions. Corporate taxes would be slashed by almost 60%.
Currently the US corporate top marginal tax rate stands at 40%(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates). While that is the highest in the world, corporations don’t pay that, after deductions, looses, charitable donations, state and national policies on corporate subsidies and tax forgiveness and in that many companies simply do not pay . in 2012 The Economist reported that:
“Between 2005-2009, according to Gus Lubin’s post, 115 of the S&P 500 paid just 20% in corporate taxes, and 37 received higher tax credits than they paid in taxes, which includes AIG and Citi and 16 of the S&P 500 paid less than 5% in taxes, which includes Boeing. “
Gus Lubin is the Executive Editor at Business Insider.
The troubling thing is that Stephen Moore is taken seriously, particularly by a media that Moore and others on the right routinely pretend at Liberal. The reality behind the number paints an even more troubling picture of absolute disdain and disrespect for the American people. We have seen that corporations do not pay the top marginal rate, paying well below any modern industrial nation. The deficit that creates is felt directly on the backs and in the bellies of the poor, disabled and elderly. Paul’s demand that all deductions, home, school, etc., be eliminated, except for charitable contributions means the wealthy can continue to offset their income and continue to grow their power to the detriment of the poor and middle class. The Heritage Foundation “is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and charitable contributions are tax-deductible for income, gift and estate taxes.” According to their website.
So Rand Paul, with his net worth of $2.5 million, making nearly $200,000 just from his job as senator is reported to have about another $300 thousand in income. Under his plan he would pay $70 thousand, and be forced to live on a paltry $430 thousand. However, he could offset that tax by writing a large check to Stephen Moore at the Heritage Foundation, an investment in promoting policies that would help Paul and Moore become very, very rich. By contrast, the median income in Brooklyn Iowa, population 1446 is $43,516, about $9,000 below the state and national median would sink their income $6090, no deductions, no offsets, to $37,426 which would cripple the average family.
The top 20% of the US population controls 85% of its wealth. Moore and Paul have concocted a scheme that appears to be the answer to everyone’s dreams; it is instead an answer to theirs alone. They are slashing taxes on the wealthy and corporations and slamming it onto the backs of the poor, working class and elderly. Sean Hannity rails on that supposed unfairness all the time, calling the bottom 80% of income workers deadbeats and asking how it is fair that so much of the burden falls on the minority of rich people? And Stephen Moore calls Bernie Sanders a “lunatic.”