Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
If Congress decides to reduce taxes (and only Congress can cut taxes - despite what certain Presidential candidates might say), I wish to recommend the following thoughts and considerations: Increase the personal exemption, Increase the standard deduction, Reduce but not eliminate inheritance taxes, and possibly reduce certain rates on upper-bracket income.
The People of the United States of America, currently have an ephemeral budgetary surplus which may substantially soon disappear. (qv TRUTH among my other Political Commentary) Still, from time to time, due to even minor inflation and bracket creep, some tax relief may be in order. I generally endorse across the board tax relief instead of the Swiss cheese programs of myriad tax plume or loop-holes which can keep tax preparers and tax examiners busy, too busy for twelve months a year. However, the inheritance tax could be modified first to exclude family farms and family businesses of less than say $10 million (qv TRUTH).
General Tax Relief I suggest should begin with an increase in the personal exemption to as much as $4,000. The Standard Deduction should be increased to as much as $6,500 single, $8,000 head of household, and $10,000 married. This would save couples with two children and earning thirty-some thousand dollars as much as $1,080. These are simple initiatives which could save most tax payers money, and still allow then to file the 1040A or the 1040EZ. These first proposals would not save the very rich even a dime in income taxes!
In my Political Commentary TRUTH I consider reduction of inheritance taxes as well as here. I would certainly suggest that Charitable Remainder Trusts be fully excluded from Inheritance Taxes (beginning in the near future). Then the income from these trusts could be fully taxed if formed subsequent to the date of full exemption. This would obviously put many government tax accountants out of work and reduce the fees of free market accountants. (Like former President Reagan I believe in simpler and less intrusive taxes and regulations if at all possible.) In addition to the Charitable Remainder Trusts and the small farms and businesses, Congress might also consider reducing the maximum rate of Inheritance taxes to say 25% or 30%.
Finally, I wish to gore the concept of "targeted" tax cuts. The Elder Care deduction is a hoax! Trough astute tax planning almost all tax payers can be dollars ahead when a senior is in residential care, and a modification of Medi-Care schedules could directly pay for respite care and other special needs of declining seniors. Besides, there are already some tax considerations to help the aged. (See your tax accountant.)
Child care is already tax deductible, and I believe that (and published studies agree) the beet care of an infant to the age of four or five years is primarily with a progenitor (or lawful surrogate). A mother and a father and/or a grandparent who can share love and instruction with a child is the best nurture a child can have. Commercial child care is at best only second best. If Congress wants to do something in this area, it might allow a premium of only one additional personal exemption when at least one dependant had not reached the age of five years on the final day of the tax year.
College is well covered by current opportunities, and I recommend that all scholarships continue and be specified to be exempt from federal taxes. Under current programs and scholarships there is no reason why an industrious, reasonably intelligent, single, non-parent high school graduate cannot attend college. This is not to say that everyone can go to Yale or Harvard, but if a student really wants and works to go to college - he can. (For those uninformed persons who think that the word he excludes women, let me refer you to my seventh grade English grammar book: The masculine pronoun includes females. The feminine noun or pronoun excludes all males. if one alumnus walks into a room full of alumnae, they all become alumni.
I never served in the Armed Forces of the United States and I never shrank from it either. I am a hypocrite by recommending the Armed forces as a great way to learn, to earn, and to prepare for college and/or a generally better life, Every high school senior without a solid path ahead should talk to a military recruiter - at least by phone. opportunities abound, and this is what I consider the business of government to be: to nurture opportunities - not to guarantee every need or desire! If Congress wants to do something for the very rich, it can extend the onset of the 39% bracket to say $2 million or even eliminate it altogether.
For further details on these ideas, please, feel free to contact me at (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.