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The Tax Policy We Need

We don’t need tax rate increases, we need tax revenue increases. According to this article, tax revenues were higher under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush Minor, while they were down under Carter, Clinton, and Bush Major.

What’s the correlation: Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush Minor all lowered taxes and increased revenues. Carter, Clinton, and Bush Major all increased taxes and decreased revenues.

I admit that there are many other factors that affect tax revenue than just the tax rate, but it’s hard to see what else can encourage or discourage productivity more than tax rates.

Our immediate tax goal, therefore, has to be to optimize tax revenues, not maximize tax rates – on the rich or anybody else.

Having achieved that goal, we then need to figure out how to minimize taxes to the essentials so we can spread prosperity throughout our country, while protecting the farmers and other non-merchant incomes, and remove the intolerable burden of corruption, bribery, and obscene waste that is turning us into a third world economy.

Of course, the bigger question is whether, in fact, we need higher tax revenues at all or whether we ought to reduce our expenditures.

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