Congress Hears Citizens Dividend Plan
|September 18, 2003||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Tax Refund for Everyone, Not Just a Privileged Few
Congress Hears Citizens Dividend Plan
Although it might not really be a true citizens dividend, this new plan being discussed in Congress is mighty interesting. Why are so few members of Congress pushing it? Because it does not bring special privileges to any special interests.
The so-called Progressive Caucus proposes a tax cut of $300 per person in the family, a “dividend” from the surplus that will extend to all families, including those who may not pay income tax but are paying social security taxes. Multiply the number of people in your family by $300 – that’s the check the government will send you at tax time. Nothing could be simpler or fairer.
And unlike Bush’s plan, it would apply year to year based on actual surpluses, so if the economy tanks and the surpluses shrink, so can the “dividend” sent out to people.
Best of all, the Progressive Caucus plan delivers a larger tax cut to 80% of the population than does Bush’s plan. All of this while spending LESS per year than Bush’s plan.
Because of its simplicity, promoting this plan is the best way to show how unfair and irresponsible Bush’s tax giveaway is for most people. The AFL-CIO has already endorsed the tax plan; add your organization to the list of endorsers. Call Congressman Bernie Sanders’ office to add your organization to the list of supporters 202-225-4115
* * *
Some excerpts from a recent William Raspberry column on this topic:
Better, Simpler, Fairer
The same day President Bush sent his tax-cut proposal to Congress, Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus unveiled a tax-cut plan that Sanders says will do everything the president’s will do, only better, more simply and more fairly. The funny thing is, he may be right.
The proposal: a $300 tax cut for every man, woman and child in America — provided the surplus is for real.
That’s it. If you’re an American, you get the $300 cut (or tax credit) each year for the next 10 years. A family of four gets a $1,200 cut, no matter whether the family’s income is $20,000 or $200,000 a year.
But simplicity is just the starting point. “If you cross-reference our proposal with the Wall Street Journal’s analysis,” says Sanders spokesman David Sirota, “you’ll find ours gives more tax relief than the president’s for 80 percent of American families. That is, families in the first through 80th percentiles get a bigger tax reduction under our plan — at least during the five years before the president’s increased child credit kicks in.
“Families in the 81st to 95th percentiles get an average cut of $1,447 under Bush’s plan, which is in the same ballpark as our $1,200 for a family of four.”
“It’s a travesty,” says Sanders, “that the president would put forward a tax plan that provides a millionaire family with over $40,000 in tax relief while a family earning $40,000 will only get around $600.”
Sanders says, “The rich already have benefited from the economic boom. My proposal would help those who have pretty much been bypassed by the boom.”
The Vermonter figures his plan would cost about $900 billion. “If the president thinks that’s too little to stimulate the economy sufficiently, then he could take our plan and bump it up to his $1.6 trillion. That would give every man, woman and child almost $600.”
In fact, the Sanders approach might prove more of an economic stimulus than the president’s. Rich people might decide to salt their tax-break money into savings or splurge on European vacations. With poor people, the one certainty is that they’ll spend the money and most likely close to home.
What’s your view? What tax plan has the most common sense? Tell the Progress Report right here, and also post your ideas at the Economic Justice Discussion Room