February 7, 2023

NO-GO, SAYS JOE: Biden deftly slams Republican tax plan and proposal to abolish the IRS

NO-GO, SAYS JOE: Biden deftly slams Republican tax plan and proposal to abolish the IRS

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A proposal by Republican Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service and replace our tax system with a flat sales tax of 30% was met with mockery by President Biden.

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And for good reason.

Now, we know Republicans don’t like things that are complicated, like lengthy bills or thinking about climate change, or just thinking in general.

And if it requires reading, forget it – most GOP members of Congress will be fleeing for the hills.

Heck, if you toss a book at her, Lauren Boebert might just shoot you. Marjorie Taylor Greene would undoubtedly dive for cover, fearful of the “knowledge grenade.”

So one thing Republicans truly detest is the tax code, which not only requires reading, but is also long, overwrought, and extraordinarily confusing.

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Our tax code is truly unnecessarily complicated – of that there is no doubt.

Yet the solution offered by some members of the GOP would hardly make things better.

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Republicans have been talking up the “flat tax” for decades now. If you’re old enough, you might recall Steve Forbes’s push to impose it. He’s still at it, in fact.

And we know he has at least one adherent in Carter. The Georgia congressman is part of the House Freedom Caucus that gave Kevin McCarthy such a difficult time on his way to becoming speaker.

Mr. McCarthy had to make a significant amount of concessions, some of which are only now coming to light, such as the committee assignments he promised to many who have no business even being in Congress, much less serving on any committees.

One of those concessions was that he would bring Mr. Carter’s flat tax proposal to a vote.

So far the bill has twenty-three co-sponsors, though it’s difficult to say if it’ll attract any significant support.

Even fellow Freedom Caucus member Chip Roy (R-TX) has expressed doubt, contending that abolishing the IRS and putting up a flat tax would likely require amending the Constitution to overcome the Sixteenth Amendment.

Others have pointed out additional problems, such as the fact that such a tax would be regressive, difficult to enforce, and could lead to massive deficits.

In remarks Thursday addressing the economy and inflation, Uncle Joe ridiculed the idea, noting how it would hit the middle-class:

There are, of course, ways to make our tax code simpler and more effective.

One is to do what other countries like Japan do: let the government do your taxes for you.

Citizens would still have the option to hire CPAs if they don’t trust the government’s figures. But for people in Japan or Australia, their systems are so efficient that doing taxes is practically an after-thought for most of them.

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And if Republicans are truly against IRS bureaucracy, perhaps they can get behind the effort to add funding to that particular organization so that it can increase staff, as is desperately needed – rather than trying to gut it so that it can’t go after the wealthiest Americans.

Have no fear, though: Mr. Carter’s bill stands essentially no chance of getting through the Senate, even if it does manage to somehow get through the House.

And Uncle Joe would be ready with that veto pen anyhow.

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Ross Rosenfeld

is a news analysis and opinion writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Daily News and Newsweek. He lives in New York.

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