America Needs a “Tax Reformation”

by Lowell Ponte

This October the world’s Protestants celebrate the 500th Anniversary of priest Martin Luther posting 95 Theses that called for changes in the Roman Catholic church, an act that sparked the Reformation.

The Reformation also launched modern free enterprise, argued pioneering sociologist Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism. The Reformation taught that individual achievement and earned success were virtues, and established the Protestant work ethic that helped make the English-speaking nations world powers.

In today’s struggle between globalist collectivism and nationalist individualism, we need more than tax reform. We need a Tax Reformation that again puts the individual taxpayer above the government and reasserts the ancient Roman Cicero’s motto that the good of the people is the highest law. Government is supposed to serve us, not overtax our achievers to serve the greed of selfish politicians and the state.

The United States, which began as a free enterprise nation, now imposes a 35 percent tax rate on businesses, the highest among advanced countries. Progressives insist that any tax change be “revenue neutral,” that government receive at least as much tax as it gets now by clawing back and redistributing with its left hand whatever tax cuts are given with its right. The only debate is to be over who pays most and least, with politicians demanding indulgences from businesses trying to escape Tax Hell.

Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Trump's tax reform promisePresident Donald Trump’s wish to reduce business taxes to 15 percent is “unrealistic” according to the left-of-center magazine The Atlantic. Yet 15 percent could bring 2.5 Trillion in overseas earnings home, and is the business tax rate in prosperous Germany, Luther’s homeland.

The Left deems a 25 percent rate plausible. This is the business tax rate in Communist China – 10 percentage points lower today than in the “capitalist” United States. In the United Kingdom from which we won independence, the business tax rate is 19 percent. In Ireland it is 13 percent, barely over a third of ours. Government tax greed has made America uncompetitive.

In a true free enterprise nation, why is business taxed at all? Business employs and benefits us; it should be encouraged, not penalized as a minority that in our class-warfare democracy can be taxed heavily by politicians to buy the votes of those less successful.

President Richard Nixon once said that a 35 percent tax rate was the point at which a nation’s freedom vanishes. But our government now taxes business and then also taxes the earnings of individuals who work for or invest in that business. The pagan god of today’s Leftists, Karl Marx, proposed high “Progressive” income taxes as one of the best ways to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialist serfdom under a ruling elite.

“The Democrats have become socialists,” wrote columnist Dana Milbank earlier this month in the liberal Washington Post. As Craig R. Smith and I wrote in We Have Seen The Future And It Looks Like Baltimore, the risk that the socialist one of our two political parties could take power in any election and start taxing and expropriating capital will greatly reduce business investment. We estimate that this “donkey drag” could reduce potential jobs and economic growth by 25 percent.

The purportedly pro-business Republicans run Congress but have been hesitant to make President Trump’s tax cut proposals law. If they do not enact a large retroactive tax cut on businesses and individuals soon, they could easily lose one or both houses of Congress in the 2018 elections.

Republicans have the power to slash taxes if their policies are “revenue neutral” after ten years. This is temporary and imperfect. But if Democrats regain power because of Republican timidity or inaction, the rules will immediately be changed to raise taxes. Americans need again to see that lower taxes and smaller government – a Tax Reformation – are the path back to greater prosperity, freedom, individuality, and enterprise.
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To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, a veteran think tank futurist and co-author of seven economics books, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com .

For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net .

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