"It does look like under the Green Party, Warren Buffett would stop complaining about not paying enough taxes..... [from Jill Stein's platform]:
"1. Cut taxes for wage-workers.
- Exempt people earning less than $25,000 per year and families earning less than $50,000 per year (adjusted for inflation) from the federal and state income taxes. [We are actually pretty far along in this direction already. A family of four with 50k in income will have about half wiped out with personal exemptions and standard deduction with most of the balance taxed at 10%. At lower incomes the Earned Income Credit will often more than wipe out the income tax. Payroll taxes are another story.]
- Exempt food, clothing, prescription medications, other necessities and second-hand goods from sales taxes. [I'm sure Southeby's would be happy with the second hand goods idea. Massachusetts exempts food, some clothing and prescriptions. I think there are other states that have similar exemptions. Other necessities ?]
"2. Fair taxes for corporations and the wealthy...[includes]
- End corporate welfare, such as the bailouts for Wall Street, the big banks and the automobile industry; subsidies for agribusiness, Export-Import Bank loan guarantees; tax abatements for big box stores; the tax loophole for “carried interest” from private equity and hedge fund managers; tax deductibility for advertising and business entertainment; offshore tax avoidance schemes; giveaways for new sports stadiums and casinos. [This is more a less a "usual suspects" list except for advertising.]
- Impose a financial transaction tax on trades of stocks, bonds, currency, derivatives, and other financial instruments. [I sometimes wonder if the volume of trading that we have is actually good for the economy. When I mentioned a proposal like this some time ago, many traders weighed in and indicated that trading would move else where devastating the economy of lower Manhattan for example. I guess this would not cost Warren Buffett whose favorite holding period is forever all that much.]
- Block financial transactions with tax havens, to stop tax evasion.
- Oppose the privatization of Social Security.
- Enact a wealth tax of 0.5% per year on an individual’s assets over $5 million. [I recently wrote about a proposal for an even stiffer wealth tax (2%). The devil is in the details and when they say "assets" do they really mean net worth ? Warren Buffett would probably stop complaining about being under-taxed if this one went through.
"3. Eco-taxes to help save the planet...[includes]
- Eliminate tax subsidies for the oil, gas, coal, nuclear and timber and mining industries. [Another usual suspect, one with some merit.]
- Impose a carbon fee on goods imported from nations with lower carbon taxes than in the U.S., based upon the carbon spent in manufacturing and transporting them to the U.S.
"4. Taxes for a better, healthier USA...[includes]
- Eliminate tax incentives to send jobs overseas. [I'm not sure what those are exactly. I always thought the main incentive was that people were willing to work for less.]
- Raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, soda pop and other junk food. [This is OK as long as there is a Mountain Dew exception.]"