Friday, June 08, 2007

Democrats Seek To Ease AMT Hit For Millions

You'll never guess how they plan on doing that.
House Democrats looking to spare millions of middle-class families from the expensive bite of the alternative minimum tax are considering adding a surcharge of 4 percent or more to the tax bills of the nation's wealthiest households.

For those of you who don't know, the Alternative Medical Tax, created in 1969, was designed to ensure that a small number of super-wealthy citizens weren't able to deduct and loophole their way out of paying any taxes. Unfortunately, Congress neglected to index the AMT for inflation. So, as incomes have increased over the years, more and more "non-wealthy" people are falling under the AMT's reach. Back in 1969, the AMT was designed to nab 155 filers. But today
the tax is projected to strike more than 23 million households next spring, many of them earning as little as $50,000 a year.

The trick here is to provide relief for those who shouldn't be caught up in the AMT, while at the same time not denying the Government too much revenue. Under the proposal discussed in the article, a 4.3% surcharge would be imposed on incomes over $500,000 per year. This would allow the Government to eliminate the AMT for those earning $250,000 or less. Representative Richard Neal (D-MA), chariman of the House subcommittee with responsibility over the AMT, claims this proposal has broad support with key Democrats. However,
Some Democrats say Neal's plan stretches the definition of the middle class too far, providing AMT relief to too many wealthy households. They argue that the cutoff for families to be spared from the AMT should be lower, at $200,000, $150,000 or even $75,000.

So, some Democrats define "wealthy" as $75,000? No wonder they're always shrieking aboout the shrinking middle class! Not to brag, but I myself make somewhere north of $75,000 per year, and believe me, I would not call myself "wealthy".

See, this is what gets me about the Left's take on wealth. They're so determined to demonize everyone who manages to live comfortably, with cries of "paying their fair share" and redistributions of wealth. Why don't they just get it over with, tax the wealthy at 80%, and give the proceeds directly to the vaunted underclass. At least that way, we'll only need to provide public assistance to the top 10% of the population (since they'll no longer be able to afford a living) instead of the current 30% or 35%.

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