Jesse Ventura on Tax Reform
Former Independent MN Governor
I’m not crazy about a flat tax. The first reason is that even a flat tax is still an income tax. I think the Sixteenth Amendment, the one granting government the power to collect taxes on income, should be repealed. The other reason I’m against a flat tax is that we’ve already got one: It’s called Social Security. And look at the mess that’s in.
A fair national sales tax wouldn’t touch the necessities of life like food and clothing. It would make sure that people were able to provide for themselves with the basics before it collected any tax. Taxes would only be collected on optional purchases. That would make the taxpayers much more powerful. We could decide how much tax we’re going to pay by controlling our level of consumption. We would have the option of hanging onto our money and living off the basics, or of spending as much as we feel like. We wouldn’t be penalized for saving or investing. We wouldn’t have to hand the government money just because we’re looking our for our own financial welfare.
We also worked things out so that next year, Minnesota’s working folks won’t have to wait for a rebate: they’ll be paying less in taxes in the first place. They’ll get to keep more of their money. That’s what’s supposed to happen when government starts working more efficiently.
I’m totally sold on this idea. We’d be able to take home the gross on our paychecks! We’d be in control of how much tax we paid by choosing how much to buy. We wouldn’t be penalized any more for working hard and saving money! And it would be much fairer, because in the current system there are plenty of industries (legal and illegal) that get away with paying no taxes--gambling, drug dealers, cottage industries. But since everybody has to buy things, the tax would cover everyone, even illegal immigrants. But it’s got to start with the feds. And it will only happen if we, the citizens, show a lot of support for it.
Such a system also allows individuals to get their money before the government does. Each person then, in effect, decides how much the government will get based upon their individual spending choices. If people had to actively pay their taxes as opposed to the current passive system, it would result in lower taxation and fewer pork barrel programs being passed. Such a program would also ensure the government curbing its spending when the economy is weak, and learning to live within its budget.
The value of a property for taxation purposes should be fixed at the time the owner purchases the property. That is the one time the true value of the property can be fixed. The current system requires speculative valuations, and results in people being forced to sell their land when the “value” increases do to developments on nearby property. If the tax valuation is fixed at the time of purchase, individuals will know whether or not they can afford the taxes when they purchase their property. The only time the property valuation for tax purposes would be changed is when the property changes hands.
We are writing to request equal treatment between states and the federal government on estate tax changes. Regardless of one’s view about phasing out the federal estate tax, the Governors are absolutely united in opposing any action that would discriminate against states in the phase-out of the state and federal estate taxes. This issue needs to be addressed before the Senate goes to conference with the House.
Governors believe that the ability of states to independently determine their own tax revenue policy is a basic tenet of federalism. Moreover, no federal tax bill should be enacted without close consultation with the states.
At the very least, there must be equity in the treatment of the state death tax credit in the tax bill the Congress considers with the proposed phase-out of the federal estate tax. Governors oppose provisions that impose disproportionate impacts on state revenue systems. The changes proposed by the Senate would have abrupt, significant adverse impacts on state revenues at a particularly onerous time for many states. The potential impact on states would begin next year and have a potential impact of between $50 and $100 billion over the next ten years.
We urge the leaders to respect those rights and to restore fairness.
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AK:*Begich over Stevens
DE:Biden and Kaufman
GA:Chambliss v.Martin (Dec. 2 runoff)
MN:Coleman v.Franken (recounting as of Dec.1)
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