Oppel and experts fail: Now that Perry has proposed a tax plan, the plan will be scored by the Tax Policy Center. A sane discussion will ensue among those who want such a trinket.
But the New York Times has floundered and flailed in its run-up to this event. Yesterday, Richard Oppel massively failed in this news report. No, it doesn’t exactly “matter”—although as the dumbness piles up, the broader discussion can get very dumb. But this is the dumbest part of Oppel’s hapless report: ht
OPPEL (10/24/11): Independent analysts say it is hard to imagine a flat-tax plan that would not be very regressive compared with the current system. Right now, the highest tax rate for many middle-income earners is 15 percent, while the richest Americans are subject to a 35 percent rate on much of their income.That is really dumb.
“If you’re going to get the same amount of revenue, someone has to pay the price,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. “The rich pay less, the poor pay nothing, and the middle class bears the burden.”
As we noted a few days ago, it is supremely easy “to imagine a flat-tax plan that would not be very regressive compared with the current system.” It simply requires a high tax rate with a high exemption. (All the major Republican plans have included substantial exemptions.) For example: Institute a single tax rate of 40 percent, with an exemption of $150,000 for a family of four. Or maybe $250,000! With a tax rate of 60 percent!
Under such a plan, the highest earners would pay much more. Mid-level earners would pay much less. No Republican would ever propose such a plan, of course. But that isn’t what Oppel was saying—even though he should be saying that, so his readers will be exposed to the logic of these Republican plans.
Duh. If it’s "simplicity" the GOP craves, they can get it with a high single rate. But the GOP isn’t seeking simplicity. The GOP is actually seeking lower tax rates on the rich! Oppel should open his big fat yap and let the public hear that.
Are you kidding? It’s easy to imagine a “flat tax” (single-rate) plan which would be hugely progressive as compared with the current system. That said:
Why can’t Williams imagine such a plan? You know how it can be with these experts!
Why can’t Oppel imagine such a plan! People! He works for the Times!