In which we look more closely at yesterday’s non-partisan six-point economic plan.
- Eliminate the home mortgage deduction: America’s most popular deduction costs the government $84 billion annually in lost revenues and inflates home prices. Its social-engineering goal, long abetted by highways and oil subsidies, is to subsidize the American Dream of single-family suburban home ownership. Those who really dream big can get us to subsidize their second homes as well.
- End tax deduction for company-provided health care: This perk, non-taxable to donor and recipient, encourages enhanced coverage and more usage, which drives up health costs for everyone else. I’m not saying it’s bad . . . but with all these deductions, we should recognize how entitled those who rant against entitlements really are.
- Eliminate the corporate income tax: Bad, say the economists, because it taxes job creation. To get money from the rich, tax the owners. That make sense, but we still need to regulate corporate activities . . . and when they break they law, fine them without mercy. That might close the deficit right there.
- Eliminate all income and payroll taxes: Taxes discourage what your taxing, economists say, and income is good. So where would the money come from? The economists recommend a consumption tax that protects low-income households. I’m all for a progressive consumption tax, and ending the regressive payroll tax . . . but we still need a graduated income tax to provide for our national needs and to assert fairness as a core principle.
- Tax carbon emissions: Tax bad things. But since carbon and consumption drive our entire economy, wouldn’t taxing them actually slow growth? It might force us to, finally, reconsider the increasingly ugly and unsustainable path our current obsession with growth is taking us.
- Legalize marijuana: Like, yo. If we do this, who cares about the other five?