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In order to accomplish the four primary characteristics of good tax law:
1. A functional tax system adequately funds government services.

2. A functional tax system is comprised of functional law: Understandable and easy to apply, stable and predictable.

3. A functional tax system is fair.

4. A functional tax system is effective at influencing socially productive decisions about money, time, resources.

 

I propose the following revisions in order of importance.

  1. Tax ALL entities and ALL income on the same progressive rate structure.

    Entirely eliminate all preferences for long-term capital gains and income from dividends, including all spinoff forms of that preference, including section 1256 gains on futures trading, and all carried interest preferential taxation for private equity investment bankers.

    Increases tax revenues from current subsidy of income from long-term capital gains and dividends. Simplifies tax computation, reporting and enforcement. More understandable. Equally taxes income from work, rental and other services, and unearned income from ownership.

  2. Eliminate ALL deductions from income with the exception of deductions for any expenses incurred to earn specific income. No above the line deductions for health care expenditures, retirement plans, educational expenses; no itemized deductions for medical, mortgage or sales tax interest, state or municipal taxes, charitable contributions, and for all entities.

    If a subsidy is to be retained at all, retain it in the form a tax credit, in which each taxpayer receives the same % tax benefit.

    Increases tax revenues from current subsidy. Simplifies tax computation, reporting and enforcement. More understandable. No longer higher subsidy, the higher the tax bracket. Eliminates favored beneficiary interests. Reduces inflation in costs of health care, education, homes.

  3. ALL entities with limited liability status (corporation, LLC, limited partnership) would be taxed as distinct entities. All entities in which the shareholders are personally responsible for all entity debts (not limited) would be taxed as a proportional flow through entity (taxed as if they were an individual on their individual return).

    Increases tax revenues by taxing all entities as well as their distribution of profits. Aligns favored legal status (no shareholder exposure to entity’s debts) with tax responsibility.

  4. ALL limited liability entitites would be required to publish audited financial statements, on their global income. All limited liability entities doing business in the US, would be taxed on all of their audited global income, with the reconciliation for total taxes between countries determined by tax treaty between the countries. (There would be then no possibility of offshoring profits.)

    Increases tax revenues by taxing all corporate entity’s income in US. Simplifies enforcement for corporate entities. Eliminates off-shoring of large corporations’ profits.

  5. For all individuals, a once per lifetime net worth tax, based on the same progressive rate schedule as other taxation, applicable at either age 60 or death, depending on the taxpayer’s discretion.

    Retains estate tax revenue. Adds discretionary timing of tax levy.

  6. Elimination of other ad hoc tax features including the exclusion from $250,000 gain on sale of a private residence, the alternative minimum tax. Passive loss limitations would be eliminated.

    Simplifies tax preparation and enforcement.
    Suggested marginal tax rate structure:

    Up to $20,000          $0
    Up to $40,000          $0           +      12.0% over $20,000
    Up to $80,000          $2,400   +      19.0% over $40,000
    Up to $160,000       $10,000  +      26.0% over $80,000
    Up to $320,000       $30,800  +      33.0% over $160,000
    Over $320,000         $83,600  +      40.0% over $320,000

    Applies to all entities.

Simple!

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I didn’t think it could happen to me.

I didn’t think that I could be deflected by recurring circumstances (a life entirely constructed around work routine), to lose the perspective of a cool fresh head/heart.

It did.

In my case, I got into the routine.

My day. Wake up at 6:00, don’t meditate like I used to, don’t say “thank you for this moment” like I used to. For a long time, I woke up tired. I still do from internalized stresses, even with my sleep apnia machine.

Nearly immediately, I get on my cell phone by my bed, read my facebook feed, argue about Israel for an hour (initiating my tension addiction), eat (counting calories), check in with my wife (briefly), walk the dog while listening to music that I can barely hear. Quickly take a shower, get dressed.

Then drive 20 miles to work in a car that is bigger than I would ever desire on its own merits. Also, listening to music that I can barely hear. Then climb the stairs in the converted factory building.

Routinely say hello to my two workmates, whom I also can’t hear really, who are also right in the work rat race (busy). Plop down at my computer. Wait while the computer goes through its contorted startup routine. Close the dozen pop-up programs that require me to close them to continue. Open up the three programs that I use daily, wait for them to boot up. (One also requiring two passes to get it to open.)

Read my daily e-mail, 1/2 spam, another 1/3 announcements of who will be late,  Maybe 1/6 requiring me to act on something useful.

OK, that’s everybody’s in box.

Then, at the screen, all day every day. Governed by my very routine to do list.

And, all in a background of tension, every minute of every day there. I appreciate many things about all the people there, but I can’t get my boss and our current less than perfect work relationship out of my mind. It haunts me. And, I know that aspect of the problem adds an edge to my response to everything, and that that is my problem, my responsibility to manage.

The objective reasons for work tension remain, but the emotional ones are in the front of my mind.

6 hours (a short day). 10 minute lunch, then back to it.

Then guilt that I’m leaving work while my workmates continue (they work 8 hours).

Then a tense drive home, like all other commuters.

Then eat a snack as I’ve usually not eaten enough during the day and I’m ravenous (dieting too). Then, back to my home computer to write about Israel again (continuing my stress/”I’m needed” addiction). Then a bit of philosophical musing of the pointlessness of human existence, anybody’s, mine. Then, some more self-pity, running over my day, my angers, my reasons why I’m right.

Then I cook dinner, and spend a few minutes with my wife. (Maybe 25 minutes of total attention or time together compared to six hours at work plus many more preparing and getting to work, and the many more hours that my boss is in my mind).

Then eat, usually watch a movie after work (in spite of my resolve earlier to move forward on some of the other projects that I’ve committed to.) Then crash, sleep for an hour.

Then rarely, exercise. (I’m afraid to bicycle now with two falls in the last two sessions resulting from loss of balance due to my loss of functioning of hearing and balance nerves).

More often get back on the web and argue with far left and far right about Israel.

Then, get ready for bed, play some mind-exhausting games so I can fall asleep, some more posting about Israel, then put on my sleep apnia mask, then crash for six hours.

Repeated 5 days.

Then Saturday I visit my mother, who needs my visit, but it is also always stressful. We have fun too, laugh when we can hear each other. But, mostly just get her out of the facility that she’s in for some diversion. Long drive. 45 miles each way, with some of the most dangerous highway design in New England on the way.

Sunday is mine. (Lots of time writing about Israel, and playing video games. Eating yeah. Sleep.)

I don’t take vacations for myself. I can’t be away from my mother, missing more than one weekend in a row, and I can’t be away from work more than once in any two week period, for the unnecessarily complex payroll preparation exercise that no one else is remotely able to do.

Rat race.

Head down. No looking up to see what’s going on. Me and everyone.

Collectively. No looking up to see that we drive and drive and drive.

I can’t hear, so social interaction is difficult and always includes the tension of the struggle to hear, and all clouded by my permanent and persistent low level depression. No hope.

Just like my father.

(Then some breaking through, my wife making me laugh about something,)

No possible social change. No possible room to think, to see.

Guilty for seeking to enjoy my own life (by looking away from my problem-solving addiction), while others have to struggle.

Guilty for spending money on diversion at all.

Just guilty and trapped.

Too sensitive and not sensitive enough at the same time. A wound.

Which is the beginning of this circle? Anyone have any ideas? Social/political, emotional, simple failure to interrupt the cycling to take a minute to pursue wellness?

Why do others seem to focus just on their own lives, their own life-scale only (and not think about social problems, or anybody others’).

Why do I lack that skill?

Or, am I just seeing clearly, and commonly unable to make change in my own life, and socially. Doomed to watch slow decline, continual.

This is not a suicide note. But, I am in the middle of this. This is not an after-the-fact Oprah Winfrey interview of an epiphany.

Trying figure out, so that I can live decently.

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My Blogging Method

I pick my interest areas, which are admittedly too wide to focus on a single concern. Its been a problem all my life, that has hurt my career.

So, the way I get around that is to use a computer to randomly select a topic area to write on.

I know it sounds arbitrary and indecisive, and maybe I should write 17+ blogs that correspond to my identified interest areas and not ask others to wade through the distortions of my own personality. (Renaissance man, or utterly distracted.)

Maybe I’ll go to 17 blogs next week.

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This is my first blog post on my own blog. I don’t have a clue how it will look to others. I guess I’ll have to work on that over time.

My areas of interest are sustainable economy, sustainable/simple living, ethics, Jewish theology and practice, Israel peace-oriented politics, social progress.

I tend to love radical moderate perspectives, although apparently a contradiction in terms. What I mean by that is a reconciliation of needs and reason, rather than an agitation for a specific political conclusion or outcome.

I have exceptions to that. I am determined to realize certain consumer-oriented disclosure laws including “locus” (the disclosure of the geographic center of a production chain from raw materials to end delivery), and energy analysis/audit of all real estate sold or rented, as a legally required disclosure.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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