The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 7, 2013

Simple tax reform

The problem with taxes is loopholes and at last count there were about 180. The solution is really quite simple, "simplify" the system. First, eliminate all business taxes. They simply pass the cost of taxes along to the consumers. Governments, federal and local, are the biggest consumers and therefore would benefit from lower prices, which will result in decreased budgets. Most if not all of the loopholes closed in the 1986 tax reform have been replaced, and the rates increased to higher levels.

Let's tax only individuals, directly and visibly with a personal income tax for everyone. I propose a three-tiered flat tax system with no exemptions and no loopholes. For example: 0 percent tax for those making less than $50,000; 10 percent tax on people making between $50,000 and $100,000; 15 percent for up to $500,000, and 25 percent for those making more than $500,000.

My numbers may need adjustments, however, the savings to governments, business and families in both taxes paid and their associated implementation costs would be enormous.

A similar graduated flat income tax would solve most of Pennsylvania's financial problems.

It seems the only people who would object to this system are those who benefit from the loopholes and the lobbyists who buy them. With a flat tax and no exemptions or loopholes, there would be no jobs for lobbyists, and congressmen and congresswomen would have to pay for their own re-election campaign programs.

With the absence of lobbyists, Washington's hotels, restaurants and golf courses would face hard times. Congress feeling the pinch by having to pay for their own entertainment will likely get them to clamor for a pay raise.

Carlyle Westlund,


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