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November 15, 2005

Democratic Plans – Senator Ron Wyden’s New Tax Reform Plan

Last Sunday, Tim Russert hammered Howard Dean again on the Democrats lack of plans.  Dean said we’d have them.  They’d start showing up next year.  He didn’t even need to say that there wasn’t much point in putting out plans when the Republicans were doing such a great job of shooting themselves in the feet this fall.  It was pretty obvious that there is no point in getting in their way when they are getting such bad press all on their own.

One such plan was announced at a press conference on Oct. 27th and no one noticed - Oregon Democratic Senator, Ron Wyden’s “Fair Flat Tax Act of 2005”.  It seems quite good and will be great to pull out next spring when it is time for Democrats to show they have the ideas and plans to move this country ahead. 

I was on a phone conference last week, organized by Kari Chisholm of Blue Oregon, to hear about this plan. It made a lot of sense to me as a starting point for a Democratic plan. I was all set to write up my notes when I found that a DailyKos diarist, Scoonie, had done a great job writing it up this last Sunday on DailyKos.  Here’s the essence of what he says about it:

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has come up with a plan to reform the tax system in a way that truly reflects Democratic values. He calls it the "Fair Flat Tax Act of 2005". It succeeds in addressing four core tax ideas that Democrats and other reasonable people can agree on:

1)    a simpler, more efficient tax system
2)    a more progressive tax system
3)    a tax system that doesn't reward wealth over work
4)    a cut in taxes for the middle and lower class

Senator Wyden's plan eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while downsizing the Form 1040/Schedule A to one page (30 total lines). The various itemized deductions of the current Schedule A are pared down to deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. The plan lowers the number of marginal tax brackets down to three, with rates of 15%, 25%, and 35%. The standard deduction available to all taxpayers is increased while the Earned Income Credit (EIC) for low-wage workers is maintained.   

He continues in the diary with more details and you can find the entire plan at Senator Wyden’s website. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 15, 2005 at 06:18 PM in National and International Politics, Policy | Permalink

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