by Jeremy Leaming
Forget the fact that the nation’s middle class is shrinking and more and more people are being shoved into poverty every year. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination, has an answer – give more tax breaks to the nation’s wealthiest.
This morning Perry announced tax policy in South Carolina, which “would dramatically reduce taxes, particularly on wealthy Americans and corporations,” The Washington Post reports.
The newspaper says Perry’s plan would “reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, eliminate taxes on dividends and many capital gains and essentially cap individual tax rates at 20 percent.”
Perry, who not long after entering the presidential race railed against “the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax,” is pushing a flat tax rate that would not only provide the nation’s wealthiest with even more tax breaks, but continue to sap the middle class. (As Post columnist Ruth Marcus noted in August, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center reported that about 46 percent of Americans would not pay an income tax in 2011 because they are not earning enough “to owe income taxes, based on the progressive structure of the tax code and provisions designed to help the working poor and lower-income seniors.”)
In a column for Politico, Robert L. Borosage says “every major candidate” seeking the Republican presidential nomination has “suggested that too many working poor aren’t paying income taxes, a position The Wall Street Journal describes as ‘GOP doctrine.’”
Borosage says the Republican candidates’ mantra that too many Americans aren’t paying taxes is “disingenuous.” He continues, “Working poor people do pay taxes. They pay a larger portion of their income in payroll taxes and sales taxes than the wealthy. And they pay property taxes indirectly in their rental costs. Poor workers pay about one-eighth of their incomes in taxes on average.”