Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tax Policy as an implement of change

Tax Policy as an implement of change

A short term tax source would be the taxing of the original mortgage lenders on all foreclosures and the taxing of the foreclosing party, as the empty homes are a blight to neighborhoods and make problems for local law enforcement. Local economies should tax vacant houses at a higher rate, due to the extra costs. All tax hikes go on the foreclosing parties, not the people being ousted. The idea here is to discourage bad loans at the inception, and collect taxes on the problems loans all down the line.

Another idea would be to discourage non producing investments like mortgage backed securities and ETFs, that tie up money and produce nothing except commissions and dividends. Tax the profits from these kinds of investment at a high rate and tax the losses also, as a drain on the system. No more tax credits for losses from non producing investments, real or fabricated. The government is rewarding these non good or service producing investments with tax breaks. The government even covered their losses with tax funded bailouts, instead of refunding to the original investors, who took a loss. There were other ways to prop up the pension funds.

Long term tax policy as a remedy for economic problems could include stabilizing population growth as a remedy for high unemployment. Lately the numbers of jobs available has not kept up with population growth, resulting in high unemployment rates and many unemployed young people.

Perhaps the tax policy should state 'one dependent per one adult' instead of huge tax breaks for people who have many children. Having more children actually costs the system, the schools, welfare, busing, meals, and other subsidies. Limiting the dependent credit to one per one would tend to discourage large families. The same would go for school tax credits and tuition subsidies. Manifest Destiny is certainly over and more population growth plus high unemployment will damage the prosperity of the citizenry.

As for the economic model that demands ever increasing growth for success is surely in for a disavowal as populations become more dense and physical supplies are strained or tenuous. Tax policy could slow down this 'population infill' before we have people living in doorways. Too many people are broke and unemployed while the amount of money the mega wealthy controls has ballooned.

Current tax policy uses the IRS as an arm of welfare, giving 'returns' to people who did not earn them like a once a year Santa. I suppose that gratis payments to low income people is easier to do this way than it would be if the legislative process were used to authorize these payments. It also attracts less political publicity. Payments to these people should be limited to one per one.

So now the IRS is to be used as an arm of insurance companies to force people to buy private health insurance? If the IRS is checking on this, then it must be a tax that you will be punished if you do not pay, just like income tax. A tax imposed on us by private companies is not sound policy. I am hearing stories of people who have to buy high deductable insurance because it is cheaper and then still don't get health care because they can't afford it. Anything to keep the IRS off your ass, right?

More on tax policy later.