We all know about the “top 3” Dem candidates’ various plans to implement socialized healthcare, and Dem frontrunner Hillary Clinton has made no secret about her plans to redistribute wealth in order to pay for the big government programs she’s advocating. Senator Ted Kennedy, while not running for president, nevertheless has also called for government-run healthcare.
The latest Democrat to give us an inside track into their Socialistic agenda? The disgraceful Congressional representative from New York’s Harlem district, none other than House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel. Brian from Liberty Pundit guestblogged about this here last week, but there’s a new article in the NYT today which explains in more detail Rangel’s hopes for overhauling the tax code (emphasis added):
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 — The House’s leading Democratic tax writer will propose a sweeping overhaul of the tax code on Thursday that would increase taxes on many people with incomes above $200,000 but cut them for most others.
The bill, to be introduced by Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, would also overhaul corporate taxes by eliminating many major tax breaks and lowering overall tax rates.
Mr. Rangel has acknowledged that he does not expect to enact such a bill this year, and President Bush would almost certainly veto legislation that raises taxes on the wealthy.
The plan is probably most important as a preview of what Democrats are likely to pursue after the 2008 elections, especially in rolling back a good part of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts for people at the top of the income ladder.
On individual taxes, the heart of his plan calls for eliminating the alternative minimum tax — which was originally created to prevent millionaires from taking too great advantage of tax breaks but now touches people with upper middle incomes and is poised to affect tens of millions of families with incomes as low as $50,000 a year.
Eliminating the alternative tax would reduce projected revenue by almost $800 billion over the next 10 years, according to Congressional estimates.
Mr. Rangel’s bill would also expand some tax breaks for middle- and low-income people. It would increase the standard deduction, at a cost of $48 billion over 10 years. And it would widen the earned- income tax credit, which primarily benefits working single parents with low incomes, to include more low-income workers who do not have children. That would cost $29 billion over 10 years.
To offset the cost of those reductions, the bill would impose a new “replacement tax” for the top 10 percent of income earners who would have otherwise had to pay the alternative minimum tax.
The replacement tax would not apply to couples with incomes as low as $200,000, but aides to Mr. Rangel said many people with incomes as high as $500,000 would still end up with at least slightly lower taxes than under current law. [Note: Surrre they would! –ST]
In effect, the bill would roll back a big part of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts for people with top incomes. In that respect, it is similar to the general positions on taxes that most of the Democratic presidential contenders have taken.
More from the NYT piece:
Mr. Rangel’s plan would reduce the top corporate rate to 30.5 percent from 35 percent now, costing an estimated $364 billion over 10 years.
To make up for that lost revenue, the bill would eliminate a variety of tax breaks — many of them ones business groups fought hard to achieve in a sprawling corporate tax measure just three years ago.
Mr. Rangel’s biggest revenue-raiser would come from eliminating a special tax break on profits from domestic manufacturing — a provision that Democrats championed in 2004 over the opposition of Mr. Bush.
Rangel is trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes by making it look like his tax plans are “fair” and that “everyone benefits” when in actuality he’s just wanting to replace several burdensome tax laws with several other burdensome tax laws. There’s never been a tax that Democrats didn’t like, and especially considering what’s on the agenda for the “top 3,” there’s no way Rangel’s going to push for any tax code changes that would bring in less money to the federal government. He’s just doing what so many other Democrats have done before him: Advocate that “the rich” pay even more taxes to the feds, so that everyone else can “share” in the wealth.
Fri AM Update: The WSJ takes an in-depth look at Rangel’s so-called “tax reform” plan.