Fair taxation

The “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2017” [S. 955 and H. R. 2159] is included in “Our Promise to America.”  This bill would make sure corporations and the wealthiest among us pay their fair share of taxes.  Winston supports that bill.

Winston also supports the “Inclusive Prosperity Act” [H.R. 1144], which is included in “The People’s Platform.  This bill would enact a financial transactions tax on Wall Street to curb excessive speculation and high-frequency trading, which has threatened financial markets. The Democratic Party platform “acknowledge(s) that there is room within our party for a diversity of views on a broader financial transactions tax.”

 

Beyond these worthy measures, Winston would do much more to insure a fair and equitable system of taxation.

The Democratic Party platform states that “We will make sure Social Security’s guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more, and will achieve this goal by taxing some of the income of people above $250,000.”

Currently, the Social Security payroll tax only applies to each individual’s first $118,500 in wages and self-employment income. As a result, middle- and low-income Americans pay a higher share of their income in payroll taxes than high-income Americans. Many tax policy analysts have suggested broadening the payroll tax base by raising the cap above $118,500 or otherwise reducing the amount of wages that are not subject to the Social Security payroll tax.

The proposal referenced in the Democratic platform – taxing “some of the income of people above $250,000” is a toned-down version of a proposal Senator Bernie Sanders has made, to apply the Social Security payroll tax to all payroll above $250,000. A recent publication of the Tax Foundation found that this proposal would raise $720 billion in federal revenue over 10 years.  Winston agrees with Senator Sanders and supports his proposal.

Winston believes that there should be no Social Security payroll tax on any individual who is part of a household with income that is less than 110% of the poverty line.  There should be a flat tax on the income of any individual whose household income is above 110%.  There should be no cap on income subject to the tax and the rate of taxation should be adjusted annually to cover the cost of providing means-tested benefits set at a level that enables retired workers to “live in dignity with a sense of purpose.”

 

Winston also supports taxing long-term capital gains (and qualified dividends) at the same rate as other income.  The fact that capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income has contributed to millions of people speculating in the stock market with little real knowledge regarding the businesses in which they are investing.  With the exception of initial public offerings (IPOs) the money spent trading stocks does not go to the business involved.  There is no benefit in the form of “job creation” from millions of ordinary people placing bets on stocks with little knowledge of the underlying businesses.