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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


August 13, 2013 - 7:57 am

Members of the US Senate, once called the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” are currently debating a number of reforms and changes to America’s byzantine real estate tax code. But you and I aren’t allowed to know who is proposing what, or even what they’re proposing, according to the LA Times.

On the Senate side, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) asked colleagues in both parties to submit recommendations on which tax preferences should be preserved, starting from a “blank slate” where all current benefits are eliminated. To provide senators political cover and deniability, the committee put all recommendations under a 50-year top-secret classification, and restricted access to them to just 10 staff members.

Our government is supposed to be transparent with and accountable to the people. That’s the joke, I guess. Wherever the Democrats hold power, opacity and trickery rule.

At least on the GOP-controlled House side, there’s no move to put the debate behind any top secret wall.

The Democrat-controlled Senate’s secrecy presents the Republicans with yet another opportunity to rip the Democrats for failing, across the entire Obama era, to deliver on the transparency that they promised. It’s hard to see the RNC taking full advantage, though.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (5)
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Unconventional and new ideas require a little privacy to prevent both parties from giving the appearance of supporting reform. Consider a pro-growth tax reform solution that begins with the replacement of the job killing payroll taxes.

Allow every taxpayer choice between a flat 26% income tax (plus deferred capital gains, estate and gift taxes later); or an 8% income tax rate combined with a 2% tax on net wealth (excluding $15,000 cash and $500,000 retirement savings). A 4% VAT on business would also enable an 8% C corporation rate. Let the wealthy and their pass through businesses avoid estate and capital gains taxes, and pay the same rates as the poor - if they want.

The low tax rates are possible by broadening the tax bases and elimination of almost $1.3 trillion in annual tax expenditures (which simply are not needed with very low rates). Congress must go beyond the economic "winners and losers" mentality by creating economic mobility and benefit for taxpayers at different wealth and income levels.

Broad voter appeal can come from simple tax reform that enables a taxpayer to quickly estimate family tax liability and savings. After a few years of monitoring net wealth more than 90% of taxpayers would see a record of personal growth and be grateful to the members of congress that supported the tax reform.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
one of the major players in obamacare, now he doesn't want the little people to know who is proposing what on the tax code. we should just take every third senator out and shoot them "pour encourager les autres"
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Swami, the end does not justify the means. The only way we avoid under the table deals and cronyism is transparency. If his proposals can't stand up to criticism, they aren't what we need.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Secret courts, secret warrants, secret court rulings, secret surveillance of citizens, secret hearings,secret legislation, secret White House meetings with media reporters, This isn't how a democracy operates, this is how an oligarchy, a government by a secret elite, works.

Next we will be informed that there have been secret trials and secret executions for violators of secret laws.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I give Max Baucus a little credit for this, actually.
It's no surprise that in any state in the northeast, he would be considered almost a right wing extremist. Only in the west could he possibly be a Democrat.
He knows full well that anything put on the table results in any business entity paying less than they do now will bring out the howling leftist socialist savages.
Yet, without that, tax reform falls apart. He's doing what he has to do.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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