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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Taxes can be fun, too

Let’s talk about taxes.

I know what you’re thinking, and I can envision my editors rolling their eyes already — but stay with me, I promise I’ll make it as fun as humanly possible.

Wednesday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., unveiled a new tax plan that would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to two, reduce the top corporate tax bracket by 10 percent and eliminate the capital gains tax and most tax deductions — with the exception of the mortgage interest and charitable ?giving.

Anyone who has been through the grueling process of tax season will be all for a simpler tax code.

I would also like to pause and take a moment to thank my dad for handling my taxes, because I will get a phone call later today if I don’t — so thanks, Dad!

The issue I have with this plan, however, isn’t with its simplicity.

I believe our tax code is far too complicated, and it fails to accurately reflect our society’s policy priorities.

But simplicity for simplicity’s sake is not always ?virtuous.

Our country, particularly in difficult fiscal times, needs a tax code that allows our government the kind of flexibility and fairness we need to invest in our future.

Critics of my philosophy will immediately discredit my thinking as a desire to raise your taxes — but I assure you, that is the last thing I want for the vast majority of ?Americans.

The issue I have with Rubio’s proposal is that it is a play to the interests of the rich and big business under the guise of a tax cut.

Though he might claim this plan represents a tax cut for a vast majority of Americans, the problem is who receives the bulk of that cut — and the way he has structured the code ?disproportionately to ?benefit the rich.

By eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends, Rubio would allow rich investors to make all the money they want without owing any of it back to the ?government. By lowering corporate tax rates, he would allow big business to get away with paying even less of their fair share than they do now.

And trust me, none of us want that.

By lowering the top tax bracket to incomes of $150,000 or more for married couples, the uber-rich receive a huge cut, while poor and middle-class Americans get only moderate breaks.

Finally, by keeping mortgage interest and charitable giving tax breaks while creating a modest child tax credit, Rubio is saying only those who can afford homes, children and can donate to charity deserve a break on their taxes.

As with any tax break, it will leave the government with less money to spend on education, infrastructure and the social safety net.

We need a simpler tax code, yes, but that code should still let us invest in our people rather than be used as a tool to help special ?interests.

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