Asset Taxation Plan
|August 31, 2004||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Consider Asset Taxation
by Michael L. Coburn
Asset taxation is proposed as a unifying position for Georgists, Libertarians, Objectivists, Greens, and Natural Law groups. A proposal that can be supported by all and employed to move the current government towards a more rational and illuminating position.
We all want to change things for the better, and we all have certain beliefs as to how to do so. Georgists/geoists tend to focus on the rights to employ land in the pursuit of one’s fulfillment. Libertarians tend to focus on the rights of the individual, and Greens focus on the environment. In each case we see policies formulated to directly address the issue(s) as perceived by the particular group. There is much to be said for conceiving a proposal in tax reform that can be supported by all of the 3rd parties and which can create a clearer picture of our economy and the issues which surround it. In this way it is possible to bring the power of the current manipulators to heel, and allow logic, reason, and justice to have a chance to persuade the public at large. The current and continuing debate over taxation and economics offers the inroad for public awareness.
The formulation of a cohesive policy in regard to federal taxation reform is probably the best means available for a concerted attack on suppressed individual rights, unearned privilege, and license to destroy the environment. The current proposal at www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/2578/ is a starting point for a reform that most 3rd parties can support and should support to clarify the economic picture and force the politicians to deal with issues instead of finessing them. It is politically feasible and can be enacted without destroying the economy or bringing undue hardship on any particular group.
Asset taxation is proposed to replace the current federal income tax and federal inheritance taxes with a 2% tax on the market value of all assets, including but not limited to land, improvements, licenses to use natural resources, and any and all properties that can be disposed of or rented to generate income to the owner.
The proceeds of this tax are absolutely limited to supporting federal government efforts in defense, law enforcement, and infrastructure (i.e. those government operations that make ownership possible). Other forms of taxation are relegated to financing social programs and any revenue generated therefrom cannot be used in support of defense, law enforcement, or infrastructure. But whether taxes other than those on land or assets are equitable or whether the federal government should have any social role at all can be debated outside the context of that which is generally agreed to be the primary role of government as supported by asset taxation.
This tax proposal is a beginning, and a means to clarify; it is not an end in itself. Whether the Single tax on land, or the removal of government from social programs, or the focus of government control on protecting the environment is at issue, the clarity imparted to government finances by this proposal is still “a step in the right direction”.
Given the backwards reform proposals being debated by Congress, it is difficult to see why all of the 3rd parties would not support an asset tax proposal along these lines as an alternative. And, if this is true, then together we would have enough foot soldiers to bypass the media and bring some real pressure to bear on our congresscritters.
Michael L. Coburn
What’s your opinion on asset taxation as a unifying issue for third parties? Tell us what you think!