Time: Tue Dec 16 05:37:42 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: TAX REFORM: longest living RED HERRING?? (fwd)
Cc: ice@coolmedia.net
Bcc: sls

Such active fish need to stay all wet
in order to survive.

/s/ Paul Mitchell,
Candidate for Congress

>I wonder if the Guiness Book of World Records has an entry for the 
>longest living RED HERRING?!?!  This thing could easily get the 
>incumbents reelected until they all qualify for retirement! 
>Dems, GOP Join To Overhaul Tax Laws
> AP Tax Writer
> WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leading Democrats
>have joined Republicans in the clamor to
> overhaul the tax system, broadening
>debate on an issue certain to get plenty
> attention in Congress next year.
> House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt,
>D-Mo., and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.,
> plus the libertarian Cato Institute and
>a San Francisco think tank called
> Progress, are promoting various ideas
>following GOP-sponsored debates on a
>flat tax
> and national sales tax. Many other
>alternatives are expected to crop up
> Congress returns in late January.
> This fall, House Republicans revived
>the tax reform topic with a series of
> well-attended debates featuring a flat
>tax advocate, House Majority Leader Dick
> Armey, R-Texas, and a national sales
>tax proponent, Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La.
> and Tauzin limited the debate to
>proposals already introduced as
>legislation that
> promised a single, flat rate.
> House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.,
>applauded the debates. While not
> either option, he backed an effort to
>scrap the income tax code by 2001 and
>replace it
> with a new system.
> Kennedy proposed a ``post-card tax
>return with progressive tax rates.''
> ``Democrats can and must seek genuine
>tax simplification,'' he told the
>National Press
> Club last week. ``But the tax rate on
>the post card cannot and must not be the
> flat rate for all Americans.''
> Gregory Jenner, national tax policy
>director at the accounting firm Coopers
> Lybrand, said, ``One of the things that
>seems to be occurring frequently these
>days is
> the co-opting of issues of one party by
>another. I don't think there is complete
> ownership of tax reform by one party.''
> Kennedy also proposed a major overhaul
>of the Social Security payroll tax,
>which he
> called ``our most regressive tax.''
>Currently, individuals pay a 6.2 percent
>rate on all
> wages up to $65,400; their employers
>match that amount.
> Kennedy would remove the $65,400 cap
>and use the proceeds to cut Social
> taxes to 5.3 percent for everyone.
>``Everyone earning less than $80,000 a
>year would
> receive a tax break,'' he said. His
>proposal would not affect the 1.45
>percent Medicare
> payroll tax.
> Jenner said Kennedy's tax idea amounts
>to ``redistributing the tax burden to
> upper-income levels.''
> Kennedy left the details for his
>post-card tax return until next year,
>but a spokesman
> said it is ``roughly similar'' to the
>10 percent tax plan advanced by
>Gephardt, who is
> eyeing a run for the presidency.
> Gephardt says that under his plan, 75
>percent of taxpayers would pay a 10
> federal tax on a post card-sized
>return. He would eliminate nearly all
> credits and exclusions from taxes,
>except for the home mortgage interest
> Another new voice in the debate is
>economist Stephen Moore of the Cato
> who would let taxpayers choose between
>the current system or a 25 percent flat
>tax on
> gross income.
> Another new entrant is a modified
>``green tax'' proposed by Redefining
>Progress. It
> would be aimed at discouraging
>pollution and heavy energy consumption
>with new
> taxes on emissions or fuels.
> The basic idea involves a tax shift --
>raising taxes on socially undesirable
> while delivering tax breaks that
>encourage investment and reward workers.
> ``It's not about shifting the burden
>from individuals to businesses,'' said
>Jeff Hamond,
> fiscal policy research director at
>Redefining Progress, a group of liberal
> conservative academics who seek to
>expand the tax debate.
> ``It's not only about protecting the
>environment while we're trying to grow
> economy,'' he said. ``It's about
>bringing more sense to the tax code.''
> The theory is to create a system in
>which people are ``empowered to reduce
>their tax
> bill through their daily behavior,''
>such as getting a more fuel-efficient
>car or reducing
> long commutes by moving closer to work,
>Hamond said.
> That's in contrast to the current
>system in which people generally have to
>earn less to
> pay less. ``There are dozens of things
>they can do to have an effect on their
> burden,'' Hamond said.
> This idea is gaining attention from
>conservative economists such as J.D.
>Foster of the
> Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research
>group. ``It is something that ought to
>be part
> of the debate,'' he said.

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