I have to take exception to the position of my fellow Republican Marco Rubio. Our problem in America is that we have so many exemptions from taxes that our tax code is hopelessly complex and difficult to enforce. If the working stiffs who loaded the plane that sent our Olympians to London had to pay taxes on their earnings, why should the Olympians be exempt?
The payment of taxes is a responsibility of citizenship, and if we believe in the concept of equal treatment under the law, we must not make such exemptions.
Being an Olympian makes you a hero, not less of a citizen. Let the Olympians pay their taxes.
All this debate over who gets credit for the “Bush Tax Cuts” is deck-chair rearrangement. The real issue is that the tax system is broken, and that in order to fix it we have to return to a debate about the fundamentals of government finance: what should be paid for and who should be paying for it.
Ours is not the only system of taxes in the world, and many things have changed since the country decided to tax incomes in 1913.
Next year wil be the 100th anniversary of the permanent income tax. Is it not time for us to re-examine the assumptions under which it was imposed, and begin to consider alternative tax constructs?
Worst case scenario: even if we wind up back where we started, we will have at least reminded the American public that while our system of government finance is not ideal, it is the best choice available given our national circumstances.
Best case scenario: we make everything a whole lot simpler, and we improve the implicit equity of the system so we don’t have to make taxes a constant political football.