It’s time for a simple tax code for everyone. Plus a livable minimum wage…

This blog will probably get me into hot water but here goes. I have been reading a number of interesting articles around raising the minimum wage  I fully support that the minimum wage is far too low.

But.

The concept that has been floating around is the redistribution of wealth. I agree with that concept. I do however think that in fact it’s time that we talk about fully and equally distributing the wealth of organizations throughout the world.

Recently the pope called for the equal distribution of wealth. I agree with him. I will not advocate taxing churches as in the end that would violate the intent of the US constitution. I do think however all churches should pay a fee to the municipality they are in for the following:

  • Road maintenance
  • Parking management and control
  • Municipal services used (sewer, water, police, fire)

It’s not a tax at that point. It’s simply a services fee.

The same is true for corporations. How does a major corporation pay no taxes?

Let’s implement a minimum tax. Say the old flat tax system. That flat tax applies to companies. They can take deductions and get tax relief deals – no problem. But once they hit the floor they have to pay. Make that flat tax against revenue. That way the hide the profit game also goes away.

Let’s do the same thing for the wealthy. If you are in the 1% you should pay a flat minimum tax as well. To those in that class that pay more than the minimum today – let’s elect them to office. To the rest, race to the bottom – no problem. But you have to pay that minimum. Period.

If you make less than 10,000 a year – no taxes. Full refund of all taxes paid. Seriously – 10 grand is not a livable wage even for a teenager living at home. The reality is for people to get started you need to get them help.

While most of Steve Forbes policies made me shiver and run away to hide. His flat tax still makes a lot of sense. I think implementing a minimum tax across the board and service fees for churches would be a fair way to solve some of the problems we are experiencing now.

Encourage companies to hire young people by letting them take a tax break (but NOT BELOW THEIR CORPORATE MINIMUM) for paying starting wages that are livable. Don’t tax churches but have them pay for the services they consume. Leave organizations that provide services to those who need them alone – no fees for them.

To borrow from Greg Cote of ESPN “back in my day” segment the minimum wage had more loopholes than Swiss cheese. Migrant workers, farm workers and food service professionals were exempt. Companies that were not large enough were exempt as well. It is time to make it universal and give smaller companies a break on taxes for the additional wages paid. I suspect you would find that the majority of small businesses pay more taxes that large companies do.

It’s time to simply the tax code. Seriously.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.