Too many tax brackets, really?


Too many tax brackets, really? That’s what the GOP claims. The above advertisement is a confusing hodgepodge of truth and falsehood. First truth:

  • Today’s tax code contains seven individual income tax brackets.
  • Republicans are proposing to flatten the tax code…

If “flatten the tax code” means to move toward a uniform rate, the proposed rates aren’t much flatter–instead of 10% to 39.6% we have 12% to 39.6%. If flatter only means fewer brackets, then yes.

These are false:

  • Seven individual income tax brackets discourage hard work.
  • Three (now four) tax brackets will better reward work.
  • Three (now four) tax brackets will allow all Americans to keep more of their hard earned paychecks.

The idea that taxes discourage hard work is dubious. If one’s goal is a net income in six figures, that person might work harder to achieve it. Even if taxes did discourage hard work, the number of tax brackets is irrelevant. The above applies to all three false points.

The idea that fewer tax brackets is better is silly. No one need care. We look up our taxes in a table, a computer does it for us, or a few may use a formula. How many brackets there are doesn’t matter. What matters is how much one owes.

Flatter tax rates would mean the rich would pay less and the rest more–that’s the bottom line. Why does the GOP seek to fool us? They intended to disguise tax cuts for the rich as reform. But then, with the current plan, they didn’t flatten the rates–for some rates are higher, for some lower, for some the same. In particular, the 39.6% rate for high incomes is retained.



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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