Monday, April 18, 2011

Letter in support of a flat tax

Representative Steve Court
Dear Sir,
This will be one of the few letters of support I assume, you will receive in regard to your Flat Tax proposal. I, of course, do not have the inside information to determine if 2.1% is the proper number, but I have long supported the concept. Just by taking the time to look at a tax form whether Federal or State should convince any serious person that they are riddled with a myriad of loopholes, all placed I am sure with the best of intentions to aid one group or another.
In the 80’s I accepted a position as Director of General Services for the State of Iowa. I tried to convince the Governor and the Director of revenue that the State tax should be simplified. I shared copies of my personal tax forms from the years I lived in Canada as a manager of a Firestone plant. Quite simply after figuring out your taxes owed there was a multiplier line near the end of the form to determine how much would go to the Province, or in our case State. It was different for each Province and subject to change as needed. The point is that this was not additional tax but a portion to go to the Province. No separate form was required. What I had proposed was to do the same in Iowa which could be done very simply by enclosing a copy of your Federal form and multiplying the State tax owed as you had proposed.
One benefit would be the immediate reduction in the staff of the Dept. of Revenue. Those people who now open and review the returns would no longer be needed. Any time State employees can be reduced should be welcome.
When Steve Forbes proposed a flat tax for the Federal government I was in favor. As I recall he had a threshold which would have exempted $35,000 or thereabouts. Even this year at the opening of Congress there was discussion about simplifying the tax code. There is only one word to describe the code and that is abominable.
While I like the idea that everyone pays some amount to be part of this great country. Maybe the only way you can succeed is to exempt the lowest income groups. If that is what it takes then I support.
It is interesting to me that the Democratic representatives are using this to blast the Republicans and no doubt will encourage throwing out members like you. It is so tragic to me that this must be continuous warfare. The editorial writers at the Arizona Daily Star have certainly labeled you and your colleagues. Reading the letters to the editor today must make them extremely happy.
My hope is that you do not walk away from this and thru education and other means strive to overcome the bad press.
One final thought, supposedly the richest among us would have their taxes reduced by large amounts. That I believe is a falsehood. Tax shelters abound of every conceivable kind to protect the earnings of the rich. Having a tax deduction for a half million dollar mortgage is one example. I don’t own a home. Many have paid off their mortgages, many others rent. There are no tax breaks for these people.

Good luck, don’t despair,

Jack B. Walters
March 30, 2011.

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