Saturday, November 01, 2014

Rebuttal to Sen. Mike Lee's Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform proposal

Senator Mike Lee represents my state of Utah. He has put forward many ideas to promote a conservative reform agenda. Today, I happened upon a list of those ideas and found this one of interest: Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform. Right away, he's talking about investors and entrepreneurs, but he says that means parents who raise kids. I don't know about you, but it's not easy running a business when you are raising kids. I know, I lived with one of those "entrepreneurs" as a kid and I didn't see him all that much.

Anyway, the proposal is yet another tax cut, like so many that have been offered by the Tea Party, a group that Mr. Lee is associated with. That association is how he got elected. You might recall that Mr. Lee was one of the people promoting the shutdown of the federal government to gain concessions from President Obama during the debate over the public debt.

Although Mr. Lee paints a nice picture of his plan, it's worth pointing out that he's not an economist. He also doesn't seem to take notice that a tax cut is not a solution to every problem. Have a read of his post in the link above and see what you think. His post is pretty short, so it won't take much time to read. I posted a comment on his proposal, but just in case they decide not to publish my post, I've put my response to Mr. Lee here:

A couple of years ago, the birth rate in America was at a 25-year low. That is because we are spending 18% of GDP on health care.

To deal with the costs of health care, we can start by setting up universal health care for everyone, you know, the public option. A few industrialized countries already do it (Canada comes to mind). Why? They recognize the investment they're making in families by doing so.

But that isn't enough. We protect our doctors from competition through "Free Trade" agreements. Most trade agreements we set up place the working class in direct competition with the rest of the world while doctors and other professionals get world-class protection from international competition.

Noted economist Dean Baker has proposed a plan that would attract doctors from around the world who are willing to work for about half of what doctors here earn. Those doctors can be asked to pay a tax that is used to fund education of doctors back home if they want to come here to practice medicine.

When it comes to helping the family, dealing with health care costs and balancing trade are where we should start. We can do tax cuts later, when we can afford to do it and when 95% of all the gains in the economy do not go to the top 1%.
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