Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It's July 2011

I will never run for political office.  Okay, I guess never say never.  But I seriously doubt I would ever run, for many reasons, mostly because (aside from my inelectibility and my inability to do a good job) I am not temperamentally suited to such a task.  

But I will admit, I occasionally think about my platform.  Yes!  How I would do things if it were Sweeneyland.  It's a fun game, figuring out what I would do if I were suddenly in power.  Therefore, it being July, and the day after the 4th, I thought I would begin to reveal my opinions.  No, many aren't novel.  Many are ridiculous.  None will ever happen.  But still, it's something to think about and to wish for.   

One reason I like to admit to a specific point of view is because then that view can be tipped up and back, defended and reignited and maybe changed.  The whole balm I get from settling on a point of view    helps me veer away from the constant feeling of being a curmudgeonly skeptic, and sadly a helpless observer.  

If I were Queen, I would institute these changes:

1.) Flat income tax with no deductions.  I'm guessing between 15 to 25%.  No nifty accountants, no discount for being poor, no deductions for children, or interest on house loans, or even medical expenses, and no increased tax for the rich. I know it seems like the rich should pay more, but I think they pay so much less now -- than even poor people do -- because of all the deductions they take.  I think this is a fair start. Maybe increase the tax rate on the rich as we see how things go.

2.) Mandatory conscription.  Everyone has to serve two years.  It can be in the military but could also be building infrastructure in the U.S. or aid, Peace Corps like, outside the U.S.  This would also help create a more cohesive American culture.  To me this is important because I think the need for culture is great and religion swoops into the vacuum.  Additionally, if people from the wealthier classes had to send their children off to war, there would be fewer wars.  Duh.  Also, people from different classes would mix together.

3.) Universal health care.  Medicare for all.  Untether health care from jobs.

4.)  Universal and equal education.  Remove the correlation between property taxes and school budgets.  Children of people who are not high-income expensive-home-owners should not have to go to schools of any less quality because of their parents situation.  Parents in rich areas have a greater resource of available at-home parents who can volunteer and this is allowed.  This will inevitably cause a discrepancy in the schools, but this I will allow.  (Yes! I am QUEEN! This is fun!)   Religious private schools are outlawed.  Private alternative learning schools are allowed, as long as the basics are taught.  This subject is added to the curriculum: Religion.  Not teaching religion, teaching children about religion.  The Bible is mandatory reading in school.  Are you shocked?  I do believe we would have much less fanaticism, fundamentalism, and influence by the religious right if everyone were forced to just simply read the Bible as literature, as a historical document, as a window into religion itself and not the word of god. I would still allow religions to exist (aren't I tolerant?) and kids could get religious schooling after their regular school if their parent chooses this.  

5.) Charity Schmarity.  No tax deductions for churches or any non-profit organizations.  None.  People will still give money to charities even if it's there is no tax benefit, this has been proven time and again.  Churches rake it in and have little to report about it.  Other charities do too, it drives me nuts. 

6.) No inheritance.  You can't transfer wealth to those who are over age 21.  (Okay, this idea is impossible, hell, they're all probably impossible - but this one really REALLY is.  Still, I like the idea that wealth cannot be transferred to those who did not earn it unless they're children.)

7.) Eliminate special states rights.  State lines should evolve over time to simple cultural and geographical delineation's.  No special business tax havens in Wyoming, for example.  State taxes would also be set at a flat rate and every state would have the same rate.

8.) Lobbying is made illegal.  Sure there will still be lobbyists, but it will be clandestine and when rooted out, prosecutable.    

9.) Electoral college abolished.  One person, one vote.  I would go with the necessity of picture identification cards at the polling places. 

10.) Eliminate tax subsidies to any business that is profitable or even possibly profitable.  Eliminate tax subsidies to any business that creates pollution. (I'm thinking how angry I get over oil subsidies.  OIL, we give money to OIL COMPANIES!)

11.)  Marijuana decriminalized.

12.) Other drugs also should be decriminalized, but they can only be done if you're not a parent and in a safe environment and not driving.  If you're out of your home (which cannot have children in it) you have to be with others doing the same drug.   Basically I would set up drug houses where, if you want to do drugs, that's fine, you can go there and do it.  But you have to stay there until you're off of the drug or dead.  I guess that means we will also provide the drugs.  All right, fine.  But no leaving until you are dead or not high anymore.   (HA! This is really fun!)   

13.) End-of-life rights, or assisted suicide rights guaranteed, equal marriage rights for gays, prostitution decriminalized, and regulated. 

14.) "Under God" taken out of the pledge.  In fact, let's toss the pledge.  Why do we have to pledge?  "In God We Trust" replaced with the historical, original "E Pluribus Unum" on money.  Let's not toss the money. 

15.) Our influence in the world limited to defending a Universal Bill of Rights.   Forget about bringing democracy everywhere.  A solid Bill of Rights is more important than democracy. 

16.) Online poker is legalized. 

17.) Palestine has a right to exist, Israel and settlements out of the Gaza Strip.  Jeez!  Let the boats in, for crying out loud.

18.) State Fair's are mandatory.  State's cannot vote to de-fund them.  (Michigan?! are you listening?)  They are too much fun and add to state pride and understanding.  

19.) Abortions are free.  Anyone who wants one can have one.  No questions asked, no waiting period.  Also, babies born with really severe disabilities can be euthanized in the first three months, of course only if the parents want it.  Yes, I said it.  I'm with Peter Singer on this one.  I know it's a tragedy.  These things happen.   While I'm on the subject, birth control is also free. 

20.) Cash payments for going to the gym.  I'm not sure how this will actually work but somehow you get $20 in cash for every time you go work out at the gym or go to yoga.  Only one event per day.

21.) High school students must graduate with a certified skill.  It could be hair cutting, electrical apprenticeships, copy editor apprentices, marble cutters, sous chefs - something - a skill that can be learned in a year, which has enough basics for a job,  and is certifiable.   

22.) (added 7-6)  YES!  Corporations are not persons!  They are corporations!  You can say whatever you want about them.  How could I forget that one?

All right.  That's my platform so far.  Wow, that was fun.  I feel a little giddy.  I may have indefensible ideas, yes - I like to read and mull.  I change and morph.  But right now, this is my dream.  I don't want to turn this blog into a big debate about them (not that it would, I'm just sayin') but I am interested in other's platforms.  Or comments.  Let's all create our own platforms!  

Oh dear, and now I'm thinking about shoes.  Well, I guess that is as good a transition as any. 

Now I will list the movies I watched this month, followed by books read.

Movies watched in June, 2011

1.) "Becoming Jane" Julian Jarrold
2.)  "Even The Rain" Iciar Bollain
3.)  "Back Beat" Ian Softley
4.)  "American Quilts" Laurie Gorman
5.)  "Sullivan's Travels" Preston Sturges
6.) "The Baron of Arizona" Sam Fuller
7.) "Objectified" Gary Hustwit
8.) "Salesman" Albert & David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
9.) "The Talent Given Us" Andrew Wagner
10.) "Beginners" Mike Mills
11.) "The Beatles, The First U.S. Visit" Albert & David Maysles, Kathy Dougherty and Susan Fromke
12.) "A Dandy In Aspic" Anthony Mann
13.) "The Virgin Suicides" Sofia Coppola
14.) "Bamboo Blonde" Anthony Mann

As I look over this varied list of movies, it's interesting what stands out now.  The biggest one-two punch was watching "Salesman" one day and "The Talent Given Us" the next day.  I really loved "Even the Rain" right after I saw it, but then I haven't thought of it since.  Funny how that goes. 

I was deeply affected by "Salesman" - a documentary about Bible salesmen from Boston, working in Florida.  The footage was shot in 1966-67.  It was so raw and realistic - I mean, hell - it was real.  But I couldn't get over how natural everyone was - like they didn't realize a camera was there. The main guy - (or, the person who turns into the main guy, I should say)  is a Willie Loman-like, sweet and manipulative person who's hitting the ceiling on his abilities to sell and keep himself together.  The salesmen are mostly Irish Catholic and I think that may have influenced my attachment to this film.  This movie is deeply haunting.  I found it very sad and poignant and surprisingly funny.  It's a view of the world in 1967 that is discombobulatingly authentic and visceral.  I was practically unable to walk for a day or so, after seeing Salesman.  I'm still thinking about it day to day to day.  

But then, unwittingly kicking it up a notch, I viewed, "The Talent Given Us."  I'd put this film in my Netflix queue because I'd enjoyed "Starting Out In The Evening" and I wanted to see Andrew Wagner's first directorial effort.  He had his family act in this first feature film of his. He wrote the screenplay too, but it appears to be suspiciously close to his own families true issues and experiences.  It blew me away. The shocking thing is that in the first third to first half of the film, I was thinking of bailing and turning it off.  It's very uneven and the performances are sometimes painful.  

It's a story about his parents (excuse me, characters much like his parents) driving across country - from New York City to L.A. to visit him (I mean, a character who is a screenwriter who is played by him.)

The scenes he has with his parents, well, some are really sexual scenes. It was so shocking he would film his parents this way.  I don't consider myself a prude, but knowing that it was his real mom and dad, watching his real mother (playing a character - okay, okay) saying, "I want to fuck" to his dad and being openly sexual with him, as well as pretty raunchy...   Well, for this viewer, it was a bit dizzying.   Yes, the movie was really sweet and believable, but also infuriating and I will admit it made me squeamish and uncomfortable, but then,  I really appreciated that Wagner was manipulating his audience (and clearly me, too) that way.  

This film led me to wonder about so much - how his family felt playing these "characters" and how it is now, having made this film a few years ago.  My jaw was literally falling open for minutes at a time as I watched this movie.  I told several people they had to see it.  I'm eagerly awaiting another Andrew Wagner movie.  IMDB does not have any new project for him, but he really, really has been given a lot of talent.  Not that I believe in talent (see last month's book postings.)  

I don't have any big insights into any of the other movies, except I do want to say that I enjoyed "Becoming Jane" a lot more than I thought I would, and probably a lot more than I had a right to.  I found myself unexpectedly crying at the end.  I thought Anne Hathaway was really good in it. 

Books read in June, 2011

I only read two this month, and am in the middle of the third.

1.) Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, The Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, written by S.C. Gwynne.  Oh! Oh! Oh!  You have to read this book.  It's so compelling, heartbreaking and breathtaking.  Beautifully written.  I didn't know about the Comanches being special - everything I knew about the Comanches I learned from John Wayne, watching "The Searchers."  Which reminds me that it's time to rewatch that movie.  Their territory was mostly in Texas - parts of Oklahoma and Northern Mexico too.  The Comanches were real hunter gatherers.  I didn't realize that what truly did them in was the systematic and deliberate destruction of their food source, the buffalo.  What I mean is, I didn't know it was so calculated.  And Quanah Parker should be known by all Americans as an amazing person with a completely unique life in all of history.  This book is so good!  

2.) Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See Smell and Know, written by Alexandra Horowitz.  This book was really good, too.  I like reading about dogs.  It was particularly poignant to read this book right now because I have just learned that my dog, Arden, has a tumor in between his lung and heart. He has trouble breathing and it's unclear how much time he has left.  It could be a terrifically slow-growing tumor.  Right now he seems pretty much fine.  In any case, reading this book was particularly meaningful because I'm feeling very close to Arden and enjoying every minute I have with him.   Most of the things I learned from this book, I already knew, but enjoyed being reminded about.  Like how much more a dog can smell and why they lick people's faces (wolf mothers regurgitate food into pups mouths, and this behavior seems to be a remnant of that) and of course I love how Horowitz teases people who treat dogs like people.  For example, as I heard just this morning on my dog walk, a woman saying to her dog: "Max, get in the car, we have to go home to see Aunt Mary who's just flown back from China!"  It's really astonishing how many people think explaining things helps a dog understand what's going on.

3.) The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, written by David McCullough.   I'm halfway through this book and oh, do I want to move to Paris.  I'm really enjoying it greatly.  He's a very good writer.  It's very systematic and logical and clear writing, and yet it's lyrical and inspirational too.  

Okay, that's it for this month.  Until August ---


tara said...

That was fun to read. I have lived in Idaho for several years and the things you said... their heads here would spin. From a lonely blue girl in a red state.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this. As you asked for others' views, here are a couple of thoughts:

First, I notice that not all of your proposals are of the same kind: some of them are goals (e.g. universal and free education), while others are means of getting to goals (e.g. flat-rate income tax). These might be worth separating.

There's also an interesting potential contradiction between your plan to decriminalise and regulate drugs, euthanasia, and prostitution (as a way of better managing them, I assume) and your plan to criminalise lobbyists (as a way of better managing them...?). Don't you worry that children would be kidnapped by underground gangs and forced to lobby Congress?

Larry Lowndes said...

At first I thought "Oh great. Another comedian with ideas". Okay, you're much more than a comedian.

Then I remembered that I like your thoughts and ideas, and that's why I here reading them.

But you must do one more thing before you have my vote... lets get rid of Corporate Personhood!

Now that you're queen of Julialand come tour VT and NH. Lebanon Opera House? Tupelo Music Hall? If it's good enough for John Hiatt, it's good enough for anyone or everyone!

Mindy Meyn said...

Pretty cool ideas...Medicare needs to be revamped though, because doctors won't take it...and if the whole country went on it...doctors would quit practicing.
If the Bible is mandatory reading...so should the Quran and the Torah. 
I selfishly cringe at the inheritance idea...but tend to agree with it.
Now I think I'll add some
Movies to my queue

Kizz said...

I know that you wrote a whole long, thoughtful post about your fantasy political platform but what I got out of all that was, I'm really sorry to hear about Arden. Glad you're enjoying the hell out of him while he's here. I'll be thinking of you guys while I wrangly my newish young dog.

Diogenes said...

That was interesting reading. Seeing how, if two people live in "similar" 1st world countries and have "similar" liberal ideas and should basically be crashing open doors on each other, they can still be so different when you live on different continents - electoral college what? Universal health care - we already have a system close enough to that, and mandatory conscription - we only just threw that out of the window, while I agree it wasn't the worst of ideas. I really don't see the no inheritance bit, seeing how e. g. my parents have worked very hard to earn a house and some money aside, it appears illogical and unfair to them that it should simply fall to the state - not just because I'd want it, mind you. Ha ha. Of course I'd want it, but not just because of that.

You get me to agree on many while not all, wouldn't it be boring otherwise. No tax deductions but cash payments for the gym are flawed logic, though, you either want to encourage a certain behaviour (what you) believe is a good idea) through premium or trust in people to pick their own path.

Scott said...

Liked your "If I were Queen" list. Most are similar to what I would generate if I made a similar effort. Not that I ever would - too depressing, given the First Law of Modern American Politics: The more likely an idea is to actually solve a problem, the less likely it is that it will be adopted.

Lausten North said...

All Hail Queen Julia!

Petra said...

I would like to apply for plot of land in SweeneyLand, please!

: ) P

Valdir Jorge said...

Ok, I know you specifically asked us not to do this, but I can’t help myself... Here are my considerations on your plans to rule the world:

1.) Flat income tax with no deductions.

I agree on the “no deductions” part. Our tax system is way too complicated, we gotta get rid of the gazillion exceptions. But a flat rate? Nooooo! The rich has to pay more. In a world with so much poverty it’s indecent to have salaries in the millions and not pay more taxes.

2.) Mandatory conscription.

Oh man! I come from a country with mandatory conscription (Brazil) and let me tell you, it does not foster anything! I agree that volunteerism should happen more, but mandatory conscription is not the way.

3.) Universal health care.

I vote for you on that. But it will cost quite a bit, so the taxes will suffer with that.

4.) Universal and equal education.

Again, I vote for you. And on the topic of teaching religion, we should “really” teach religion, we should show the kids all the different religions of the world, not just the one their parents favour. And about reading the Bible, yes, everybody should read it in its entirety and not just the nice bits as most Christians seem to do.

5.) No tax deductions for churches or any non-profit organizations

Churches should not get any tax deductions, but there are some non-profit organizations that really need the money...

6.) No inheritance.

And then what? The state gets the money? As someone else pointed out, this one sounds unfair. And as I’m not getting any inheritance (my parents were really poor...), it’s not a matter of legislating in my own favour.

9.) Electoral college abolished.

I always considered the American electoral college a very weird institution. Maybe it served some purpose at the birth of the nation, but it has been obsolete for more than a century.

14.) "Under God" taken out of the pledge.

Most definitely.

17.) Palestine has a right to exist, Israel and settlements out of the Gaza Strip. Jeez! Let the boats in, for crying out loud.

You have to consider that Israel is our only ally in the region. As much as I agree that the Palestinians have a right to a country of their own, it’s not by irking Israel that we’re going to get ahead.

My personal pet peeves and points for when I rule the world would be:

1) No more subsidies for having babies. We are already seven billion and more than a billion goes hungry every day. How many more children are we going to generate until we finally see that we have too many?

2) Revamping the law system: no more millionaire lawyers, no more ridiculous things like suing over spilled hot coffee.

3) No more subsidies for car companies. We have too many cars already, it’s time we start replacing them with bicycles.

Amber said...

I'd vote for your Queendom. Something to consider adding to your edicts.

Anyone getting a licence from the FCC to broadcast is required to devote 10% of their airtime to covering the news, but not more than 20%. The news slot(s) cannot be sponsered by private donars or through advertising - i.e. cannot make money for the company, i.e. is a public service. The news must be fact checked and personal comentary is forbidden.

Michigoose said...

As a Michigoose, I agree on State Fairs! I was disappointed that Michigan got rid of theirs before I had a chance to go.

Moose said...

Sorry to read about Arden. But a great example how dogs (and animals/nature) teach us to be grateful for the time we have.

Anonymous said...


You've got my vote...unless I decide to rob the platform from you and run myself, in which case I can probably count on at least getting your vote.

Added your blog to my blogroll...

Awesome job



Anonymous said...

You probably aren't interested in further quibbling with your "If Julia were Queen" list, but I can't resist two brief suggestions...

1) Tax simplification and flattening makes sense, but you take it too far. A personal exemption may not matter to you, but to very low income people it does. Exempt the first 10K or 15K of income from taxes, but include a stepped phase-out of that exemption for those over 100K. A two-tier tax rate for all non-exempt income--20% on the first 400K, 25% on income in excess of 400K.

2) Don't ban inheritance rights to heirs, but tax it heavily. Exempt the first $1M, tax 1M to 10M at 50%, tax anything more at 70%. Marginal rates, so the first $1M is exempt even for estates in the billions.

Overall I liked your plan, but I think my tweaks make your plan somewhat more realistic and fair.


Well, Julia, moi enjoys (all things considered) killin’ time, before time kills moi
[Go, TIME, Go!] while I’m waitin’ for the mall bus to go get me heart medicine @ WalMart.

Lets see, me wee platform thingy:
1. No Income Tax: There was no income tax in the 1860s and
the U. S. of A. could afford to keep the injins down, build the Capital Rotunda and that while half the country was trying to blowup/kill the other half.
Conversation: Uncle Sam to Every Citizen – December 6th, 1941

Every Citizen: ‘Scuse me, sir[e], could you spare a spare tire?
Uncle Sam: Sorry, Cit., I’d like to help ya butz I just ain’t gotz ANY MONEY to house ya, feed ya let alone give ya transportation or medicine.
Every Citizen:But. . .
Uncle Sam: Now, now, you don’t wanna be a charity takin’ cry baby now do you? You get back to forced idleness and be sure to vote. God bless you!

Conversation: Uncle Sam to Every Citizen – December 8th, 1941
Every Citizen: ‘Scuse ma-ma. . .
Uncle Sam: Come on in SON, let me look at you! My, my, you do look fine, indeed! Now let’s see, what can I do for YOU today? I know, howz ‘bout I give you three meals a day, housing, medical care and, oh yes, all the schoolin’ ya needs to, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, lets say, learn to repair heavy, tank like, veHICles, state of the are submarines or aircraft.
Every Citizen: But I just needz a spare tire, sir.
Uncle Sam: Spare tire! Nonsense! Howz about we give you your own jeep, howz ‘bout that, son? Wait a sec, howz ‘bout your very own tank or battleship or B-29 with your very own atomic bomb AND I'll thrown in an all expenses paid trip 'round the world. Howz that, old buddy, old pal, old chum, ole buddy?

Yep, ya wants full employment ya’s a-gonna hav-ta get ole Shitler and Tojoho back in office and get Enistein to tell our Emperor there’s a big BOMB a comin’.

2. Yes, the draft would bring back protest songs on the radio. Nothing like making those thar rich folks call in favors and such to get stationed @ the Brown Derby AND discover discontented minstrels.
3. There IS Universal Heath Care NOW, Julia. When it's really hot the syndicated reruns are all Christmas (a.k.a. Augustusmas, a.k.a. 0mas) shows and in freezin’ temps we get ‘at the beach’ episodes. Ahhhhh, yes, universal placebos help the lack of medicine come up.
4. One nation, undereducated and over-sexed.
5. Sweet Charity can not be show on TBS.
6. Julia’s parents ain’t rich.
7. YIKES! Time, Tide nor Windex wait for no old ape, sooooooo
Time to get ready for bus.

Stay on groovin’ safari,

pannedreview said...

If I were in charge,

1) Blondie would be required listening. There would also be shrines for Debbie Harry in every major city.

2) While sports would be legal, no one would be allowed to talk about televized sports (including the freaking Olympics) in front of me. (Likewise, no adds or promos or anything.) Football season--as far as I knew--would not exist. Playing for fun is fine. Just no more talking about sports events, particularly from people who spent the entire day screaming at their TV set, as if the coach and the teammates were clamoring for viewer advice. Violation of this rule would result in a $72 dollar fine, and the money would be spent stocking the Debbie Harry shrines with peroxide and copies of Videodrome.

3) Individual states decide yay or nay on abortions for their particular state. Which means you could get them in California, New York, maybe Florida, probably Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, New England states. Perhaps this would further create a divide of red vs. blue states, but at least the country could participate in the process rather than just 9 supreme court justices in 1973. Also, we would monitor crime rates by state and see if it's true that abortion has helped lower crime.

4a) Obnoxious and rude kids would be sent to that school from Arrested Development where children "were neither seen nor heard."

4b) Parents who couldn't control their obnoxious and rude kids in public places would be fined $47 for each annoying child (two corroborating witnesses, including one person who works at that particular place, required to legitimize the complaint).

5) People who think Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director would be fined $18 dollars every time someone heard them praise Nolan's work, under the "Defense of Common Sense in Movie-Making Clause."

6) Similarly, people who think Twilight is well-written would be fined $29 dollars under the "Protection of the Definition of Literature Act."

7) History books would be obliged to note that Florida is the worst. Also, how the hell did anyone live here before air conditioning?

8) Our culture's obsession with fame--I'm talking about people who do really dumb things to get famous on youtube--would be transformed. I really don't know where to begin, but perhaps we would have to change youtube, and the internet, and tv...Decision is pending.

9) Movie-plexes shut down. Bring back those awesome old movie houses.

10) Politicians would have one term only, for 5-6 years, and would be paid one million dollars a year. I am stealing this from Thomas Sowell. He reasons: there would no longer be such a thing as a career politician, and the money would potentially entice people with real knowledge about business and other fields such as science, medicine, education, etc, as contenders. Also, no benefits after the yerm ends, as in the way ex-politicians are padded with pensions for life.

11) Education geared toward training students in a certain trade. Demystify the college experience for what it is: an expensive waste of parents' money (unless what you want to do absolutely requires a degree).

pannedreview said...



Oh crap, I was gonna write that here but moi already writided it here.

Sooooo, moi'll do this.....
I’d also have the homeless attack and destroy much of Pearl Harbor and then the Army would round them up and build them, highly superior to cardboard boxes, shelters and give them three squares a day.

Homeless of Japanese decent may get to be the hall moniTORs, perhaps.

Stay on groovin' safari,


Oh yeah, the homeless in Hawaii, after the attack by the forces of Homelesslandia, would be treated exactly the same as before.

Ain't that a hoot.

*points to head & sez: "Kidneys, kidneys."*

Mikey said...

Queen Sweeney...

While I read your truly enlightening post I found myself laughing then nodding then yelling then crying then then then...

Wonderful writing and thoughts. Full of meat and potatoes and heart and things which matter.

Never ever stop writing. Please!


Irish Mikey in NYC

the business line said...

mam... you should put topic of title thats why i can find this type of superbbb article...

Thanks a lot to share this amazing content to us.

Anonymous said...

It's August! Where are you, Julia?!

Humanmama AJ Dilling said...

AMEN About the FLAT TAX!!! Hear, hear.

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www.madrid-3d.com said...

In my opinion everybody must go through it.

Laura said...

The only way I could think about supporting a flat tax would be if we (only) allowed a standard deduction high enough that it exempted the lower brackets of earners from paying income tax at all. (For example, instead of a $5800 standard deduction, you wouldn't pay income tax on your first $25,000 or $50,000 of income - depending on whether you're single or married and filing jointly.) After that I would jump straight to a pretty high tax rate.

I'd also tax capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income. This is part of the reason the rich pay less in taxes - a large portion of their income is derived from investments rather than payment for work performed, which is taxed at higher rates.

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