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March 22, 2004

An Open Letter to Congress

By Jim Dallas

Dear Congress:

I had the absolute pleasure and joy of working on my 1040EZ form today. But, as a taxpayer, I have a few suggestions as to how to make the experience even better next year.

As it stands, my best guess is that I owe the Treasury about $16 in federal income taxes. Personally, I'd prefer to take the government out for a dinner and a movie and call it even. But I guess you guys just don't swing that way.

Meanwhile, I'm owing several hundred dollars in Social Security and Medicare taxes. I don't mind that so much, but as far as I can tell, we'd all be better off if we uncapped Social Security taxes for the rich and then exempted younger workers (say, under 25) from the first $250 in payroll taxes. Why exactly am I subsidizing rich people?

As far as I can tell, the pittance interest on my savings account is just about the only taxable income I have (the rest was all less than the standard deduction). Now, most people I know have a savings account down at the bank.

How about exempting folks from the first $100 of taxable interest, or something like that? Isn't saving supposed to be a good thing?

Finally, I'd note the $574 billion deficit you guys are racking up will be coming out of my paycheck. Cut it out. Please.

May the force be with y'all.


Jim D.

Posted by Jim Dallas at March 22, 2004 03:42 PM | TrackBack


Welcome to the world of real taxes!

I agree that the FICA cap makes the tax regressive, but remember that Social Security benefits are also capped by the income amount you give. If you uncap the income to be taxed, you also uncap the income input into the formula for receiving benefits, which means that Bill Gates pulls down $10 million/year in social security at age 67 (People who pay more in get more out under the formula).

A better strategy is to just get rid of payroll taxes entirely, and dispense with the myth of the social security "contribution" (there's nothing in the lock box but a big fat for from the 1980s and '00s anyway). Instead, increase all the brackets in such a fashion as to offset the lost revenue from FICA, and thereby subsidize the working poor by making the taxes they now pay for FICA part of their exempt income (which they cannot do at present).

Oh, I got the idea from Bob Graham.

Posted by: Keith G at March 22, 2004 06:31 PM


Posted by: Jim D at March 22, 2004 10:36 PM

Funny to hear liberals complain about liberal taxes as a result of liberal entitlements. And I mean funny wierd not funny ha-ha.

Posted by: Adam at March 23, 2004 02:37 PM

Funny to hear liberals complain about liberal taxes as a result of liberal entitlements. And I mean funny wierd not funny ha-ha.

Posted by: Adam at March 23, 2004 02:38 PM
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