Deciphering the early November recommendations of the President's Tax Commission ain't tough: you will pay more taxes under either of the President's Tax Commission's two offered plans, and the rich will pay less. The 10% bracket will disappear into the 15% bracket again, and the top bracket, the 33% bracket (it was 39% in 2001) will have yet another three points lopped off, down to 30%. At the low end of the top bracket, which starts at $200,000 per year, that's a savings of $6,000; you only save $300 a year with the 10% bracket, but, Christ, what an insult. If Congress pushes either of these plans, then Tha Bush Mobb will have rolled back one of the few progressive achievements of the Clinton Presidency -- the tax hike for the top 1 percent of income earners. Plus it will sanction the abominable tax cuts that help the rich more anyway: the dividend tax cut and the capital gains tax cut. Reagan's 1986 tax cut slashed the top rate from 50% to 26%, but at least (in response to popular outcry) it closed most of the corporate loopholes. They've all come back over the years.
All in all, this is an unconscionable record of cruelty and arrogance. It's no good citing the handful of good ideas the Commission had, or wiping our brows because at least they didn't go for a flat tax or a national sales tax. The Commission has done a horrible job, a job reflecting accurately upon a cruel, immoral and decadent American culture, as well as the lying, smirking "President" who brought the Commission into existence in the first place. And, needless to say, if you hurt like I do at this moment, you certainly have no business trading your acquiescence to this monstrosity for the continued "security" Tha Bush Mobb offers. Tha Bush Mobb is like La Cosa Nostra, only without honor, let alone a sense of history.
So, y'all know what I'd do, right? I'd create a new bracket at the top, maybe representing the top one-fifth of one percent, and I'd tax that at 90%; I'd raise the personal exemption up to the level of the living wage and index that to inflation; I'd slash the lower brackets up to $60,000 to 10%; I'd restore the brackets between $60,000 and $200,000 to their pre-2001 levels; I'd raise the floor of the Alternative Minimum Tax to the level of the top one percent, raise the rate to slightly under the level of that bracket, and I'd index the damn thing to inflation like any child would have known to do and like any child would know to do now; I'd restore the dividend tax, the estate tax, and the capital gains tax to their pre-2001 levels and, here's a neat trick, make them progressive so smaller home-sellers don't get hammered as much as speculators and mansion-sellers. And don't even get me started on all the sin taxes I'd create -- for example, I'd tax blockbuster Hollywood pictures, because spending all those hundreds of millions on things blowing up makes me think we're going to fall harder than Rome before I die.
I wouldn't even have to ask if all this is "revenue-neutral." Once you start taxing the rich like you should, you move past "revenue-neutral" and into "funding low-income housing properly." When President Kennedy cut the top tax bracket in 1961, and thus signaled the government's abandonment of projects like low-income housing, that was the beginning of the end for this country. Can we turn it around? We can, if "moral values" really mean anything to anybody.