Talkin’ Tax Cuts at the NRI Summit
Mona Charen was the first of several speakers over the course of the NRI Summit to offer up this important point: The United States is now at the point where about 50% of the population pays no income tax. Therefore, tax-cuts can no longer be the centerpiece of an effective national Republican platform, because half of the population has no taxes to cut. (Unless cuts in payroll taxes are put on the table).
This has some very practical implications for state politics in a place like Rhode Island. For instance, when Rhode Island Democrats talk about property tax-reform, are they really talking about reform, or is the real goal to shift even more of a tax burden to the upper 50% of the population, so that just half of the population is paying for all Federal and state services, and through education-aid and municipal aid funding formulas, for most local services too?
I should also note that, despite the concern about taxpayer demographics, there seemed to be very little enthusiasm for “big” ideas like replacing the income tax with a national sales tax. I’m not sure if that is because of concerns about politics or policy.