Bobby Jindal's tax plan is head and shoulders better than Trump's



Bobby Jindal seems a long shot to get the GOP nomination. One wonders if he'll even still be in the race this time next week. But he has released a tax reform plan which is quite good and highlights a key flaw in Donald Trump's tax plan, so it is worth talking about.

Jindal wants to flatten the tax code and have only three rates, a 2% bracket for singles making up to $10,000 (married $20,000), a 10% bracket for singles making up to $90,000 (married $180,000), and a top rate of 25% for those making above those amounts. Currently, the top rate is around 40%, so this would be a significant reduction for higher wage earners and a shot in the arm for unincorporated small businesses.

But the key element that is so wonderful in Jindal's plan is that almost every one pays taxes. Personal exemptions are eliminated (though there are still exemptions for dependent children). Unlike Trump's plan, where he would take huge numbers of people off the tax rolls, Jindal would keep most people paying at least some tax. This is vitally important because once large numbers of people stop paying income taxes, they have no problem voting for politicians who promise higher taxes and/or higher spending, because it costs them nothing. Trump doesn't seem to realize this, but Jindal does:

Most Republican plans brag about the idea that they will allow about half of all Americans to pay zero federal taxes. I think that is a terrible mistake. Again, most Republican plans do not require the lowest wage earners to pay anything, and some basically require half of Americans to pay zero federal taxes.

We have come to the point in this country where far too many Americans believe that money grows on trees in Washington. They do not seem to get the fact that our government has no money other than what it takes from our citizens. President Obama has nearly doubled our national debt.

We simply must require that every American has some skin in this game. If we have generations of Americans who never pay any taxes, it will be very easy for them to turn a blind eye to absurd government spending and to continue to allow our government to bankrupt our nation.

Jindal's plan is not perfect. Really, he should eliminate the mis-named earned income tax credit, rather than vaguely keying it to payroll taxes. People should not receive money from the government under the guise of a "tax credit". A tax credit is where you get a tax reduction, not a subsidy from the government where you pay no taxes at all. It is time for the so-called EITC to end.

But Jindal's plan would repeal the death tax and Obamacare taxes, while preserving a few deductions for home mortgages and charitable giving, and still lowering rates substantially.

I only wish a more viable candidate had produced a plan to lower rates while at the same time not letting a huge percentage of the population off the hook for contributing to our tax base. Some people think that just because people pay into social security and medicare, it is the same as paying income tax, but it is not, because for many people income taxes are much, much greater amounts and politicians try more frequently to raise the income tax rate.

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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