The latest from Washington shows that Congress continues with their same ol' tricks. At center stage is the Alternative Minimum Tax. I'm sure everyone is aware of this. It's an alternative tax put in place in the '60s designed to keep the rich from deducting their way to low tax rates. It makes sense, understanding that the wealthy can afford an army of accountants who are capable of finding write-offs anywhere. But the "makes sense" part of it ends there because the Democrat congress of the 60s, in all their grandiose intelligence and foresight, forgot to index the tax for inflation. So now, 40 years later, average middle class Americans are finding that they trigger the AMT which is usually a rather substantial tax burden that they simply can't afford. Every year more and more American families are forced to pay more than their fair share and it's passed time for Congress to fix it.
So, enter Pelosi's congress. Surely the party of the poor, the champion of the middle class will fix this assault on our middle class families, right? Wrong. Here are the basics of what is going on:
The Dems are prepared to waive the AMT, but this tax accounts for upwards of $50 billion in the federal budget. It's quite a chunk of change and the government supposedly needs that money. So, to offset that loss, the Dems are seeking to (what else) RAISE taxes elsewhere to pay for the fix. Much of this is driven by moderate "blue dog" democrats who demand congress stick to the pay-as-you-go philosophy and will not vote for any taxcuts that aren't accounted for elsewhere, either through other taxes or cuts in spending and there's NO WAY the Dems will go along with spending cuts. Imagine that! Congress showing fiscal responsibility! Obviously, this concept has them all extremely confused, thus adding to the gridlock.
Naturally, the Republicans will not approve ANY tax increase, even one designed to fix the AMT. They feel that spending cuts are the way to go.
No one appears willing to give in. And so the AMT remains in effect, and tax season is just around the corner.
In my opinion, there is NO reason why Congress can't fix this problem. This tax is unfair and places too much financial burden on families who can't afford to give the gov't a big chunk of their salary. There is NO excuse for not fixing this problem...NONE. I don't want to hear it. I'm sick of the finger pointing, the bickering, the blaming. And there are many Americans who agree. If Congress allows one more year to go by while sticking the American taxpayer with this bogus thievery, they will have a lot of questions to answer.
Find a way. That's all there is to it. I don't care if you have to cut your own salaries to help with the effort. Find a way to fix this problem! Congress can cut $50 billion from the budget. It's not that hard. And if it is, send me a copy of the budget and I guarantee I will be able to find $50 billion that doesn't have to be spent. Notice these imbeciles refuse to do away with earmarks as a way to help end this tax. That appears to be off the table. They want to reserve the right to spend America's money on some bridge or park in their respective district, but lack the sack to do something that would actually help the American people. They bellyache about needing the money and not being able to cut so much from the budget while spending our money like trust fund brats out for a night on the town after swiping daddy's visa. There is NO EXCUSE!
And while I appreciate the Republicans digging in on no new taxes, I also demand that they not let this idea keep them from eliminating the AMT. Yes, we shouldn't be raising taxes anywhere, but the reality is that the Dems may not agree to anything without a tax hike, so some compromising may be in order. Why can't they meet half way? How about $25 billion in spending cuts and $25 billion in tax hikes? What's so hard about that?
This is a big issue, and I will be watching it closely. I will include the names of those who put up roadblocks to fixing this issue. The AMT must go. There is NO EXCUSE for not doing so.