Sunday, October 9, 2016

Paul Ryan Does Not Have a Better Way

Now that Donald Trump has been thrown under his own bus, Paul Ryan has been seen holding up a little book called A Better Way. The National Review naturally applauds:
The plan focuses on eradicating poverty, bolstering national security, revitalizing America’s economy, creating a patient-centered health-care system, implementing pro-growth tax reform, and returning government to its constitutional parameters. Its stated goals should delight any conservative: Reward work; tailor benefits to people’s needs; improve skills and schools; plan and save for the future; and demand results.
Those socialists at US News dissent:
We just knew that House Speaker Paul Ryan's latest tax reform proposal was going to be bad for working families. Year after year, after all, Ryan has been bringing forward – in the name of fiscal conservatism – some variation of a plan to take from the poor and give to the rich. Now we have Ryan's 2016 edition. Low and behold, this year's plan, adorned with the snazzy title "A Better Way," is ... simply terrible.
They note that it is all warmed over rightwing excuses for slashing taxes on the rich and exploding the Federal deficit. But wait – there’s more:
Included in the agenda is awish list of deregulation legislation, including proposals to cut the teeth out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill and the Clean Power Plan. With the BP oil spill of 2010 and Wall Street meltdown of 2008 barely in the rearview mirror – together the worst environmental and economic fiascos in recent history – one wonders, what's the worst that could happen? The new Ryan plan does, predictably, lack a few minor details – like what it would cost taxpayers.
US News links to other critiques including an analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice, which caught that Navarro-Ross nonsense on value-added taxes:
The Ryan plan appears to propose a 20 percent tariff on goods and services imported into the United States and a tax exemption (or 20 percent tax credit) for goods and services exported to foreign countries. Although Ryan briefly argues that this scheme would not violate U.S. treaties with other countries, we do not agree. In making the case for his tariff and rebate proposal, Ryan suggests that his business tax is similar to a value-added tax (a.k.a. a national sales tax). But while there are some similarities, it is decidedly not a VAT. It might better be characterized as a value-added tax with a deduction for value added. That’s because, unlike typical VATs, Ryan’s plan would allow a tax deduction for wages (the source of most value added). In 2005, a tax panel set up by then-President George W. Bush made a similar proposal but concluded that it was unlikely to pass muster and excluded it from its analysis of its own plan. The panel’s report states: “given the uncertainty over whether border adjustments would be allowable under current trade rules, and the possibility of challenge from our trading partners, the Panel chose not to include any revenue that would be raised through border adjustments.” Most tax experts would agree that the plan would not pass muster.
I don’t know about you but I’ve grown tired of listening about Donald Trump’s sick attitudes with respect to women. Paul Ryan wants us to focus on his little book and we should as it is just another excuse to shift the tax burden onto the little people.

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