ELECTION 2016: TRANS-PARTISAN TAX CUT TIME?
July 1, 2016 – Liberals and progressives hate regressive taxes. Conservatives and libertarians, well, they just hate taxes in general. Common ground from which well-sowed seeds might bring forth a bountiful political harvest? Activists behind the Mobilization for Incremental Tax Exemption, aka the MITE, think that’s possible. The ad hoc, trans-partisan project backs two proposals:
Passage of legislation mandating an annual, regularized increase in the personal exemption to the federal income tax of no less than $5,000 each year until AT LEAST such time as said exemption reaches $100,000 per year; and
Passage of legislation creating a “FICA floor” — an exemption to the personal/employee/self-employed share of FICA taxes on gross adjusted incomes of less than $15,000 plus $5,000 per dependent, with a mandated annual regularized increase of no less than $5,000 per earner and $500 per dependent until AT LEAST such time as said exemptions reach $100,000 per earner and and $20,000 per dependent.
“We’re offering a simple, bottom-up solution that disconnects the concept of tax cuts from all those other political fights over spending priorities and social values,” says Thomas L. Knapp, a Libertarian Party activist and one of the MITE’s founders. “Everyone gets a tax cut. We all benefit, the poorest among us most of all. And it’s a proven solution — the personal exemption already exists and Congress raises it periodically anyway. The MITE program just puts that process on rails and extends it to payroll taxes as well.”
The MITE’s election-year priority is getting candidates for Congress and the presidency and vice-presidency to pledge support for their program. “We’re not endorsing or supporting candidates,” says long-time progressive and third party politico Darcy Richardson. “We’re just providing a mechanism for candidates and the public to discover each other on the common ground represented by these two just and rational tax-cutting ideas. Year after year, Republicans call for cuts to the top rate, Democrats demand that ‘the rich’ pay ‘their fair share,’ everyone calls for simplification and solutions, and nothing ever really gets done. Here’s where the can stops getting kicked down the road.”
Through July, the MITE will recruit state coordinators to canvass congressional candidates, with an eye toward pressing for and publicizing candidate support as the November election approaches. Their web site is located at themite.org.