April 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

How should income tax laws be changed?


People waiting in line at a downtown Manhattan post office April 15 to file at the last minute. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today is the deadline to file your income tax return, three days later than usual because of a federal holiday.

And despite this country's dire financial straits, the very rich are paying a lot less in income tax than they did just twenty years ago. The IRS tracks 400 households with the highest adjusted gross incomes each year. In 2007, the average federal income tax rate that group paid was just 17 percent. In 1992, it was 26 percent. Over that same period, the average tax rate for all taxpayers dropped to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

What's more is according to the Tax Policy Center, 45 percent of U.S. households - a total of about 69 million - will pay no federal income tax. In fairness, most of those 69 million households still pay other taxes like state and local income taxes and property and sales taxes too. Two thirds of that group pays payroll taxes - many pay more than they get back on their federal return.

Most of the households in the group that doesn't pay federal income tax earn less than $50,000 a year. But about 5 million make between $50,000 and $1 million a year. The secret is in the tax breaks, on everything from having a child to going to college to paying your mortgage. According to the IRS, the tax code currently has a total of $1.1 trillion in credits, deductions and exemptions. That comes to an average of about $8,000 per taxpayer.

But that could change. House Republicans want to eliminate tax breaks and lower overall rates. The President has said he wants to do away with tax breaks too.

Here’s my question to you: How should income tax laws be changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Simon in Orlando, Florida:
Why don't we eliminate all deductions and just go with a flat tax? Just charge everybody 15% of everything they make over $30,000. That takes the Washington lobbyists and the IRS out of the picture.

The Tax rates should be at the level they were under John Kennedy or Bill Clinton Administrations. The poor did better, the middle class was strong, and the rich were still rich.

Ray in Georgia:
I would suggest all taxes be collected at state level and the states send a percentage to the federal government. They keep talking about simplifying the tax code. Maybe this suggestion would be a good start.

C.M. in Pasadena, California:
A start would be to do away with all deductions, credits, and subsidies. There should then be a progressive flat tax, a tax that increases with income grossed. The tax should start at a nominal 3% for the lowest incomes and at least 25% for those incomes over $200,000. No one should be exempt including corporations.

There needs to be a change in the tax brackets. I make a little over $250,000 and I don't need higher taxes as I am paying a lot already. I do not need to be in the same bracket as people making over a million dollars every year, and I find it offending when President Obama stands there and says I don't need a tax break. I find that I am paying taxes and know that a lot of people are taking advantage of loop holes and getting huge returns or not paying what they should. The government needs to address those issues.

Susan in Denver, Colorado:
Time to scrap the entire loopholed, exempted, credited, baling wired and chewing gummed tax system we've created over many decades and start over with something new, clean, simple, and fair.

Yes, it should be changed to a flat tax or a National sales tax but it will never happen. All the people who work for the government (IRS) will stop any notion of doing anything that makes sense. This is all political theater. Nothing changes.

Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Jane (Minnesota)

    Simplify the tax code and remove the loopholes that are allowing the large corporations and the top 2% to not pay their fair share.

    April 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  2. maggieb

    We need to close loopholes for big corporations and only keep mortgage and child deductions

    April 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  3. Pete from Georgia

    FLAT TAX.................10-12%, ZERO deductions.............NONE !!!. If you have a residence in the USA and spend 5 months a year Min. here.................you pay..................or you go to jail.
    No exceptions, no minimums, no maximums. NOTHING.

    You pay........................or you go to jail.

    Get it ???

    April 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  4. Bonnie from NJ

    To a percentage with no deductions or loopholes

    April 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  5. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    We should go to a flat tax. The first $25,000 (pick a number) is tax free and you pay a specified percentage (it should be around 15-20%) on ALL other income. Corporations should pay a specified percentage (it should be around 3-5%) on SALES. If you choose rates that keep the change in revenue neutral, you will be able to reduce the deficit because of the reduction in fraud and the size of the IRS.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Change the tax code to a simple straight or flat tax, that based on the level of income. Then you can reduce the number of IRS employees and tax lawyers. No business taxe loop wholes, all buiness will pay a flat tax of 18 percent.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  7. Peg in NY

    It is time to begin heavily taxing those who earn 250K or more per year. The more they make, the more taxes they should pay. The scraping by, so called, middle class needs tax rebates not higher taxes. People are losing homes at a very scarey rate and this should not be happening. Exactly what are the wealthy genuinely interested in; ecruing more monies and keeping the rest of us as a thrifty working class?! We need to be allowed to thrive, not barely survive.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  8. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, Changing the tax code & closing the loopholes that are always there no matter how closed, will be done right after THEY settle the 50 year old debate on eliminating the electoral college; in other words, never, until an independent non-political group of financial experts are allowed to make the decision.
    David, Las Vegas

    April 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. MNResident

    The tax code needs to change the condition where all those rich people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Dayton who clamour for their taxes to be raised while at the same time stuffing their money into tax exempt trusts to avoid taxes end up having to pay taxes not on their INCOME, but on their WEALTH (There is a difference between the two that most of the media just does get or explain.....). The old expressiuon from a century ago still rules–BUST THE TRUSTS!!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  10. Floyd Burgess

    Simple, EVERYBODY pays 10 percent, period. Do away with the IRS garbage to save audits and processing costs. If the good old boys can pay 10 percent to their church, they can pay the same to a government that actually does something for them (sometimes).

    April 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: 1. Close some of the corporate loop holes; 2. Instead of getting 35% for a do0llar donated to charities or church raise it to 50%; 3. Raise the amount an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to $7500 for singles and $18,000 for married couples; 4. No deduction on mortgage interest for a second home, and reduce the mortgage interest rate to 85% of annual mortgage interest; 5. Give more tax breaks for businesses with 25 to 50 employees. I could on and on....

    April 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  12. Mac from Vacaville

    Eliminate the never-ending list of tax deductions. Just like everyone else, I hate having to pay taxes, but its ridiculous how many things are tax deductible. When you have a people trying to write off prostitutes as a business expense, you know there is a problem with the system.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  13. bob z fr ,pa.

    take out all the loop holes out and straight % of your gross, no exceptions

    April 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Dale

    Stop all taxs loopholes for fat cat, and if you make over 100.000 it will be 15% flat taxes.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Terrence Cain

    How about a simple consumption tax? Yeah, that would work. Get rid of that god awful IRS that does nothing but force it's hand into your wallet to steal whatever you make before you get whatever they want you to have. Get rid of all these idiotic tax credits and loopholes that Big Business loves to jump through; and be rid of these city, state, and federal taxes that seem to do nothing but crush the people in the states they live in. If you do a simple consumption tax; like the one similar in Delaware, you'd see things start to get better in a hurry, and you can quote me on that–Jack!

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, Texas

    April 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  16. s in fl

    Simple, Jack. Everyone is required to actually pay their taxes, even corporations. Also, if you make $10 billion in profit, you are not entitled to a "rebate".

    April 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Janne from NC

    Three little words , flat tax rate. No loop holes, no gimmicks. 15% of gross income. Individual or business makes no difference. If a company does business in the US it pays 15% of gross. It is fair for everyone. With this system the weathly will always pay more. Lets face it, 15% of a million is a heck of alot more than 15% of 20,000.00. Also, this makes sure everyone has some skin in the game. Most of us do not mind paying taxes, we just mind paying ours plus the taxes of those that don't pay any.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Bradley, Portland, OR

    Get rid of all deductions and loopholes, including those for dependents, mortgages, business losses, etc. Treat all income the same, whether from wages or investments, so people (e.g. hedge funds) won't play games trying to move money from one category to another for tax purposes.

    Treat corporations and individuals the same for tax purposes. No separate corporate tax rates that they can have their lobbyists tinker with and stick individual taxpayers with more of the tax burden.

    Everybody/every corporation pays at least *something*; nobody gets out of paying taxes.

    Tax brackets:

    $0-$40,000: 5%
    $40,001-$100,000: 10%
    $100,001-$250,000: 15%
    $250,001-$1 million: 25%
    $1 million-$5 million: 35%
    $5 million-up: 45%

    Doing this lets you look up your income in a table, and find your tax due with no additional calculations. It'll take 30 seconds to file your taxes every year, whether you're an individual or a corporation.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Carla

    Corporations should be taxed and the loopholes that reward them for taking their business overseas instead of employing American workers should be replaced with heavy penalties. Wealthy individuals - those earning $250,000 and over - should be taxed, with progressively higher taxes exacted on those who earn $500,000, $1million, and so on. If we did those two things alone, our budget would be balanced in no time. I'm sick of paying the way for the Donald Trumps of this world. And I'm tired of Republicans who shove the tax burden onto the little guy, then call it handouts when he winds up needing food stamps to get by.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  20. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Throw out the entire tax law and go to a simple national sales tax – for EVERYONE including the rich and corporations – with no exceptions whatsoever. To make this work for the working poor, everyone would be given a fixed refund at the beginning of each year to make up for those living in poverty. That way it will guarantee that the wealthy will have to pay their share and the poor will still be able to buy what they need. Further, the tax will be levied only on new goods and services. If you resell your car, or whatever, there should be no taxes on your loss; the government already got its piece of you. Done the right way this is the fairest tax system possible. Obviously, it is a bit more complicated than this, but not much.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  21. Greg in Arkansas

    You are asking for a simple solution to a complex problem but a good start would be to:
    Keep tax deductions that benefit other people such as expenses to expand a business that would lead to more jobs….
    AND…Eliminate tax deductions that only benefit some individuals (such as stock holders) for closing a business to take an intangible loss based on imaginary numbers to maximize deductions from other income and move that business off shore.
    In short, punish those that outsource jobs and reward those that invest in America.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    tampa, fl i'd start by not allowing the thousands of inmates that are filing bogus 1040's a refund and extending their stay in one of the finer places of incarceration in china. hey, we exported all of our good paying jobs, why not our scum too?

    April 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  23. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    There should be all the so called loopholes taken out. The most wealthiest should be made to pay their fair share. Right now their taxes are the lowest since 1994. Companies like GE should have to pay taxes with no tax incentives. The talk about cutting Medicare, and education makes me mad. The Bush tax cuts needs to be dropped. Why the republicans insist on protecting the most wealthiest people I do not know? The only answer I can come up with is there are high paid lobbyist who stuffed their campaigns with money. The working man has no lobbyist looking out for him. Promising to cut taxes has always been a good way to get elected, everyone likes to hear that. But the simple fact is they cut too much tax and added too many loopholes.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  24. Jerome Ex-pat in Canada

    Very Easy a simple flat tax on every one and every company, leave deductions for your mortgage and charitable giving. Don't tax low income earners and students for say 5 years after graduation so they can pay down their debts. It would make everyone's life much simpler and save the country billions trying to impose the tax laws we have now.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Paul Aughtry

    Easy: everyone pays a flat 10 to 12% of all monies earned (wages, interest income, etc.) No deductions. No need to file taxes, no IRS is necessary. For corporations, 13 to 15% on all profits. No business write-offs. Easy – doable and fair.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  26. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This is the $16 Trillion dollar question. Trickle down economics zoomed into the back accounts for the rich. Bush tax cuts along with his wars are killing innocent people and our economy. Maybe we need to go back to the tax laws before Reagan took office and eliminate the tax shelters for the big oil companies.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  27. Conor in Chicago

    Close the loopholes. Coporations pay taxes. Rich people pay more in taxes but not too much where they are taxed into a different social class.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Jane in CA

    The income tax should be used to generate revenue, not implement policy. Corporate taxes should be based on a percentage of gross revenue. Personal income taxes should be per person with income – everyone files separately. Have a standard deduction of 10 – 15 K and no other deductions or credits. Keep the rates progressive and set the initial rates high enough to fund current expenses plus 5 % to reduce the deficit. Any new programs or wars would need a tax increase to fund it. Any cuts or savings should go to reduce the national debt. And no tax reductions until there is a reserve surplus of at least 5 trillion.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl.

    Stop the ludicrous federal income tax and switch to a flat national sales tax of 10%. No one gets left out and the consumption tax revenue stream is non-stop and easily accounted for. Everyone pays tax according to their own needs and level of income. Taxing production is and has been wrong all along.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  30. Chicago Jim

    Flat tax rates for all and every thing that is not presently taxed at a flat rate right now.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  31. Loren, Chicago

    Stop using the tax codes to direct economic behavior, all that does is encourage the lobbying industry to create loopholes that favor on dying industry or another. While lots of politicians decry flat taxes, they have the benefit or certainty and allow market forces to have a stronger force in capital allocation.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Simplify, simplify, simplify. Close some loopholes (especially for corporations) while lowering rates, and watch revenues go up, up, up!

    April 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  33. Brian

    The tax code has so many holes it looks like Swiss cheese. Stop giving people tax breaks for simply owning a home, or subsidizing their reproductive organs with child care tax credits. Most importantly, make sure everyone pays something. Too many people are getting a free ride on the backs of working people like me.

    Philadelphia, PA

    April 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  34. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The bottom 80% of earners should not have to pay income tax. Instead, there should be a value added tax to fund discretionary spending and a business receipts tax (essentially a hidden VAT) to distribute a bigger child tax credit and fund health care, education and welfare programs. The remaining income tax should be targeted to fund foreign wars, net interest and paying back the Social Security and Medicare trust funds as the Baby Boomers retire.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  35. Ray E. (Georgia)

    They quit sending out the 1040 Booklets last year. Now you have to file online or use some software or a Tax Service. I guess printing all those Booklets became too expensive. I would suggest all Taxes be collected at State Level and the States send a precentage to the Federal Government. They keep talking about simplifying the Tax Code. Maybe this suggestion would be a good start.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  36. Robby Bowling

    Yes it should be changed to a flat tax or a National sales tax but it will never happen. All the people who work for the government ( IRS ) will stop any notion of doing anything that makes sense. This is all political theater. Talk is cheep & in Washington its for sale.The elite super rich have all the layers & money , they run the banks & they hire the lobbyist that pay off the politicians & from out of nowhere "LOOPHOLES". Whats left of the middle class carries all the burden. Nothing changes. Corruption & backroom deals is what our government is all about.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm |

    How should income tax laws be changed?

    Good questions Jack.

    Here are my two cents:

    1. A flat tax where everyone feels the same amount of pain. So if I am in a lower tax bracket and I have to pay, 10% it is going to hurt me like 50-60% would hurt a wealthy person.

    2. Since the right leaning Supreme Court ruled that Corporations are now people, then they should pay the same level of taxes that people pay. No more special tax breaks. Depreciation of equipment no longer applies unless people can write off depreciation of say their mode of transportation, etc..

    3. I believe in limited deductions. For people (a) dependents and (b) mortgage interest or a percentage of rent. For corporations (a) dependents = US employees (b) mortgage interest or a percentage of rent for work sites within the USA. No deductions for employees outside the US or work sites outside the US.

    This would be a good start.

    Roseville CA

    April 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  38. Joe Tyrrell

    Individual Flat tax – 5% up to 1 million, then 10%. All income taxed at same rate. Personal exemption $9000, higher education expenses up to $150000 per person, medical expenses up to $5000 per year, mortgage expense up to $20000 per year, tax exempt state & local bonds up to $20000. . NO OTHER ALLOWANCES, CREDITS OR DEDUCTIONS. Minimum tax $10. For persons with negative income after deduction & credits, a 1% refund ..

    Corporations retain op to 50% profit for research and/or expansion. The remainder of profit passed thru. Minimum tax 5% earnings, 50% reduction for workforce more than 70% US citizens..

    April 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  39. David Thomas Bronzich

    They should be eliminated altogether. The plan espoused by the CATO Institute is fair, and would raise the government's revenue, not lower it. The income tax is unfair, as some people pay nothing, and others have a disproportionate burden placed on them. A flat income tax wouldn't solve this burden, but would make it voluntary (the highest income earning percentile of the population consumes more, while the lowest buys more in numbers {i.e. there are more lower percentile than there are upper percentile} )
    Port fees/ dock fees, import duties could all be raised as well.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  40. dennis north carolina

    all income tax laws should be changed so that every person or businesses would help pay the bills of this country. all loop holes should closed and people or businesses who bend the law should be placed in jail. you can not get rid of the national debt by cutting expenses. taxes are need to pay the debt off.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  41. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Over the weekend I heard on the news that almost half of the people who filed paid no taxes. My wife and I paid just over 5% and we're middle class. Unless politicians stop Mickey Mousing around (No offense Mickey) and RAISE TAXES, to include the wealthy and cut military spending other countries will stop lending to us. Military spend could be easily cut but having other countries spend money on their own. We would save $100's of millions annually. That's just a start, along with getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  42. carlos Magallanes

    Dear Jack,
    A start would be to do away with all deductions, credits, and subsidies. There should then be a progressive [ a tax that increases with income grossed] flat tax. the tax should start at a nominal 3% for the lowest incomes and at least 25% for those incomes over $200,000 . No one should be exempt including corporations.


    April 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  43. Jim in Illinois

    Jack, do away with all deductions of any kind and establish a new lower graduated tax based on income. Everyone should be required to pay if they have any income at all including the 45% that pay nothing now. There should also be full enforcement of the rules.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  44. francap

    The Tax rates should be at the level they were under John Kennedy or Bill Clinton Administrations. The poor did better, the middle class was strong, and the rich were still rich.

    The wealthy among us have gained massive amounts of wealth under the Bush tax cuts. They do not pay their fair share. If they cared about America they would stop sending jobs overseas, and sending their money to tax havens overseas.

    Greed is not good.

    Escondido, CA

    April 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  45. Gordon NJ

    Tear up the tax code and start over. There's one set of rules for the 98% of American individuals and businesses, and another special set of tax laws for businesses and millionaires who have lobbyists. However, let's not get suckered into this flat tax silliness. The wealthy can and should pay more.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  46. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Eliminate the individual Federal income tax, and focus on the corporate tax. A lot of us put it off paying our taxes until the last minute. And then there are all those millionaires and billionaires who have managed to put it off pretty much permanently. Maybe you hire an accountant to save you all you can save on your taxes. The super rich not only hire accountants, they hire themselves Congressmen and Senators. Hey, the best way to take full advantage of tax laws is to have them written to your specifications. 45 percent of US households will pay no income tax this year. Some of them won’t make enough to be taxed, and some of them will make so much that they’ll be able to avoid taxes.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  47. Simon/Orlando

    Why don't we eliminate all deductions and just go with a flat tax. Just charge everybody 15% of everything they make over $30,000. That takes the Washington lobbyests and the IRS out of the picture.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  48. Miguel


    We get Republicans saying revenue increased during the Bush era tax cuts and Democrats saying that revenue actually decreased during that time. Obviously they can't both be right. So there is a trust issue here. What if you (the press) inform the public about the truth of how these tax cuts affected revenue? Have a couple of actual ECONOMISTS on your panels explaining to the public what REALLY HAPPENED. People need to know the truth.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  49. Norm

    We should have a two-tiered tax structure that charges everyone a flat rate of 10% on income and a surtax that is based on how much a company pays its executives. For instance, a small company that pays low wages to senior staff would pay lower taxes that an large company that pays its senior management millions of dollars. This would force companies to live within their means, only pay high salaries if they contribute to society and tax the heck out of those who think they are better than everyone else.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  50. Madison Kelly III

    My suggestion is not a new one. More simply, it is a suggestion that no one apparently has the courage to really consider. Downsize the IRS by 85% and let every man, woman, corporation (or any entity that makes an income) pay a simple 10% of their gross income. We would then have more money than the government has ever had. However, since the government would have such newly found wealth, we would need to amend the constitution that would require that the congress would not be allowed to spend one penny more than the 10% tax collected. Only then would we not have to have partisan wrangling over the budget, and yet no one person or business would suffer as a result of paying simply 10% of their gross income. Imagine GE paying 10% of the billions they made in profits this years. Multiply this by a hundred thousand other businesses plus the personal incomes of 150 to 200 million individual tax payers. We would then be the true financial powerhouse of the world. Our national debt would become a thing of the past, never to resurrect its' ugly head again. This is such a sane .simple approach to taxes and finance in general, that I fail to understand why there is such a lack of courage to simply implement it.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  51. Patrick in Mi.

    10 % for all income from any source private or industrial.Zero deductions for anyone or entity ever. No holding of moneies from Corporations or individuals can be held in foriegn banks.
    Any money earned or recieved from foriegn govt.or foriegn businesses building products formerly built in America at the expense of American Jobs are taxed at 50% .No tax deductions for anyone .We have a level playing field if those policies are implimented

    April 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  52. Dave in Arizona

    They should be changed so that the rich and corporations pay the same damn rate that I do as a middle class American. Get rid of all the write off loopholes, and penalize businesses that headquarter overseas to avoid taxes.

    April 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  53. Orville

    How about a flat tax or some other system where everyone pays a fair share? Some say it is regressive, however with 45% of Americans not paying any income tax, and three wars, it is no wonder that we are on the verge of bankruptcy!

    April 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  54. Paul P.

    It should be changed so everyone above the poverty line pays their fair share. When I hear about 40% of Americans not paying any taxes, I remember hearing similar stories about Greece and the crisis they are facing with debt. Lets face it, things needs to be simplified, there are way too many tax havens, deferred investments, loopholes and deductions available that clever accountants feed off of that end up costing us all. My thoughts...keep it simple.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  55. Annie, Atlanta

    Just go back to the taxes we paid during the Clinton years, and stop giving subsidies to larger than life corporations. It would also help if all the money funneled outside of the TARP program to the big banks was paid back, instead of being passed out as bonuses.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  56. Jim Murphy

    Why not eliminate most deductions and go to a flat tax. The tax code is longer than War and Peace and the Bible together.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  57. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Simple Jack, just throw out the entire tax code and make it very simple. Have five tax brackets: 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% coresponding to incomes of $100K, $200K, $300K, $400K and $500K. No deductions, no exemptions, no capital gains crap, no special tax breaks, no nothing. The same rules for individuals and corporations. Then take all the IRS employees and put them to work rebuilding the infrastructure of this once proud country.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm |

    Progressive 35% $150k to $250k, 37% $250k to $500k and anything over 40%.
    Intrest deduction on first home only. Minor child and wife only as dependents. Wife and children pay at same rate as highest wage earner.
    Under $25k no tax.
    It is past time to pay for wars and the loans owed to social security.
    These high rollers have had a free ride for long enough.

    La Salle, IL

    April 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Kim Smith

    Flat sales tax, everyone, no exceptions, no loop holes. Also, eliminate the income, estate and death tax.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Kim Smith

    FairTax Amendment. That says it all.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  61. David from Herndon, VA

    Flat tax. Everybody pays 15%. No deductions, no exemptions. You can do your taxes on a post card.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  62. Bryan

    Close loopholes for corporations, Do away with Bush tax cuts for all.
    Making hard choices is the cornerstone of everybodies life these days.
    GOP can't do anything that involves taxing the wealthy corporations. And the Dems can't do anything to tax big labor unions. Neither has been able to make the hard choices they said they would do when running for election. I really can't understand why we keep electing people who can't do the job.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  63. Joe from Pittsburgh

    Simple progressive rates with no deductions or exemptions. 5% for incomes from $1 to $25K. 15% from $25K to $100K. 25% from$100K to $1M. 35% for everything over $1M. Everything is treated as regular income. No games.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  64. AnitaNYC

    I think we should have a flat tax with no loopholes and deductions that most "average" Americans can not benefit from.

    Also a federal sales tax wouldn't be a bad idea either. If I pay the same rate in sales tax on my items as a millionaire pays on their purchases it seems like that would be fair.

    Anita – New York City

    April 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  65. Tony from Southport

    After listening to Paul Ryan, I believe he has the answer. If you are not familiar with his plan, I suggest you read it and I believe you will agree.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  66. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    Make them simpler. Only the most brilliant of accountants and tax lawyers even come close to understanding the income tax laws, and only the wealthiest can afford to hire those people.
    Reduce available tax deductions. Is it fair that a rich guy saves significantly more tax than a poor guy by using the same $1,000.00 tax deduction?
    By the way, allowing one's mortgage interest to be a tax deduction was a major contributor to your housing meltdown. It encouraged debt and overspending on homes.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  67. Lou P.

    First, end the the loopholes that permit businesses like GE to not pay taxes!

    April 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  68. Ann from Charleston SC

    I'm for a flat rate for everyone with no tax breaks, exemptions, write offs or any way to weasle out of paying one's fair share. I would hope that the tax rate would be enough to cover the cost of caring for the most vulnerable among us and to protect us from all enemies – foreign and domestic ( like the Wall Street characters who sold us derivitives and other fantasy commodities).

    April 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  69. Thom

    We are suppossedly a democratic society and everyone is suppossedly equal. This means we all have the same rights and responsibiities. At least in my way of interpreting the Constitutin of the United States. Therefore, "all" must contribute equally to financing the budget of the country. That in my mind means all for one and one for all. Thus, a flat tax is the only fair tax and brings equality in a simple and efficient way to the people of America. No deductions, no breaks, no loopholes to favor one over another. Just a flat percentage for every dollar made by workers, businesses owners, churches, universities, charities, hospitals and corporations. A flat tax ...is a fair tax.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  70. david-seattle.wa

    If i have to pay 28% and the corporation kicking out a shareholder dividend to the non working gets a tax break, as if they had something to do with my job generating the revenue, why doesnt the shareholder welfare, usually benefitting from govt subsidies , paying less than 28%? they arent benefitting local communities when that "free"money is spent buying off our govt officials or used to speculate further demise of local economy...

    April 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  71. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Who isn't for easier taxcodes? I say flat tax, with only a standard deduction, or a simple scale like Paul Ryan put forth with a high standard deduction to help the poorer folks. This should apply to all sources income.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  72. barbara in NC

    Put a tax on tax lobbyists of 90%. Then give the rest of us 10% flat tax with no deductions and no loopholes.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  73. Russell Keller

    While I want a flat tax. It really dosn't matter because the special lobbyist interests know how to work political vending machine while it lies to the people about whom it serves.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  74. Mike in Denver

    Let's cut some loopholes! When GE can claim a $3.2 billion tax benefit, and self employed and small businesses pay through the nose, the government is fleecing the wrong herd.

    April 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  75. Anthony J. Frascino from Swedesboro, NJ

    Simple Jack, simplify, simplify. simplify. Get the accountants, lawyers, and middle men out of the equation. Everyone including millionaires should fill out one 1040 without all the attached form. State your income and pay the percentage due. Eliminate all deductions and loopholes and set a flat rate based on income. We would all pay less taxes if we simply eliminated all the complication!

    April 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  76. Randy

    Nice try but no cigar trying to lump those who make 50,000 dollars in with those overprivileged and over paid millionaires and billionaires. How about those businesses and individuals who "evaded" taxes the last 20 years be brought to justice. Half of their TOTAL wealth should get us square with the deficit. Then, they ought to be taxed at 40% of ALL income because we know those patriotic americans want to do the right thing by saving our safety net programs.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  77. Ken in Seattle

    There are far too many people of wealth, as well as major corporations, who pay comparatively little in taxes because of loop holes and plain dishonestly. A large number pay none at all. These people and corporations are costing this country billions and billions in lost tax revenue, which those much less well off are having to make up. This is inexcusable and needs to be changed. There is much said about the tax rate for the wealthy and for corporations without the qualification that the taxes these folks actually pay are no where near to the supposed tax rate. As for tax breaks, keep them in place for the people whose income and family size make them necessary in order to have a decent standard of living.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  78. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I think our government needs to switch to a user tax where by each and every person pays federal income tax on each and everything they buy. That way every one pays into the system. As it is right now 47 percent pay no federal income tax or get it back at the end of the year. With a flat user tax your taxed on what you consume. If you consume more you pay more.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  79. honest John in Vermont

    Get rid of all the deductions and credits and itemizations. There is no good reason for it to be so difficult to do ones own taxes and no good reason for the rich to continually pay LESS. I pay taxes every year and why do so many not pay any–it makes no sense.

    A simple progressive flat percentage tax is the way to go. No more loopholes for special interests. No more multi-page returns, one piece of paper is all you need.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  80. Ron

    Straight across the board Flat-Tax. Give big and small business a slightly lower rate. This by no means will solve our debt crisis, but it sure is a way for us citizens to do our part and help our overall ecomony. I would hope this can help eliminate all the bickering and back scratching, and allow the white house to concentrate on doing their part.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  81. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, the solution is so simple. First, we abolish all income tax and start collecting taxes when people buy something, just like we already do when we fill up our cars with gasoline.

    Both "the rich" and the "not-so-rich" pay the EXACT same rate of tax at the gasoline pump when they purchase gasoline and all we would have to do is expand that same system of collecting taxes to all stores like Home Depot and KMart.

    And eliminating the IRS...just think of the billions that would be saved not having to fund that government boondoggle.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  82. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Forget the various tax rates. Get rid of the current 10,000,000,000,000 page tax documents and go to a flat rate tax. Everybody pays 10% or 15% of their annual income, regardless of how much the make. If you make $15,000/year, you pay $1,500. If you make $15,000,000/year, you pay 1,500,000. Maybe that will make some of these fat cat CEOs decide they don't really want their big salaries.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  83. Joe Travis


    Simply eliminate "extinguish" all deductions and more importantly BAN all lobbyists from our government offices.

    Joe , Binghamton, NY

    April 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  84. Norman

    A flat 10% tax on everybody with no deductibles would solve the problem. And then actually enforce the law on the rich people. You don't pay, you go to jail.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  85. Chris

    We are already mired in this voluminous abomination of a tax code, and now they want to change it again. The answer is simple: A flat tax! The more you spend, the more you pay with the added bonus of eliminating the IRS as they will be obsolete. Is this so hard a concept for our Politicians to grasp?

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  86. Joseph Kraatz, Oceanside, CA

    Most deductions should be eliminated: interest on mortgage, child deductions, renters credit, etc. Than increase capital gains taxes to 35%. Those making over 1,000,000.00 per year a minimum of 25% in taxes. But many loopholes will also have to be closed.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  87. Brent Alexandria, VA

    Very simple Jack, a flat tax rate for everyone. No ands, ifs, or buts. That's the only fair way to do it. Oh, and stiff penalties for companies that farm out our jobs overseas.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  88. Jeff

    The code shouldn't be changed, it should be eliminated. Give a flat tax rate equal to the salary and everyone is happy. The rich pay more because they have more, and the poor pay less because they can't afford to pay as much as the rich. It's a simple formula and could move us forward to tackling the debt.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  89. Bob

    This is easy. Remember the 90s Jack, when there was a surplus, and we were all pretty happy? Taxes should go back to the way they were in the 90s. Done.


    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |

    Jack it is easy and would just take one page. It's called a FLAT TAX...of course the RICH would not want this because then they would be forced to share in our national taxes.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  91. Russ in PA

    Best of all: no income tax. And therefore no more hand-outs and subsidies to all those special constituents. The country did fine without an income tax for more than a hundred years, and has gone to pot since the FED and the income tax were established 100 years ago.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  92. Russ Latini

    A graduated flat tax. No deductions. Our tax form would be the front of one sheet of paper.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  93. Tom Makar

    The tax law should be changed so that I pay less taxes and everyone else pays more.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  94. Joe Travis

    Tax anything someone purchases or barters, or attempts to say is a gift.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    April 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  95. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    EVERYONE, REPEAT EVERYONE will pay 10%. No deductions. That is, afterall, what you pay to God. It is ok to exempt the 1st 20K to assist the lower income brackets. Everyone, at that rate, will be paying his or her share and the "class envy" demonstrated by the Democrats will be gone. No more whining about " tax cuts for the rich". Washington will just have to live on a REAL budget. No more gimmicks.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  96. Karl in Flint

    Close the loopholes, one flat tax for everyone and if corporations are considered individuals for contributing to political PAC's then they can pay taxes like the rest of us individuals do, too.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  97. bo

    Hi Jack,
    There needs to be a change in the tax brackets. I make a little over $250,000 and I don't need higher taxes as I am paying a lot already. I do not need to be in the same bracket as people making over a million dollars every year and I find it offending when President Obama stands there and says I don't need a tax break. I find that I am paying taxes and know that a lot of people are taking advantage of loop holes and getting huge returns or not paying what they should. The government needs to address those issues.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Bob, in Florida

    I don't understand Jack. Doesn't the ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX require the wealthy (or middle class since they haven't changed the threshold) to pay SOME income tax????

    I would make sure the wealthy would ALWAYS pay the most money each year by percentage than anyone else. The more income THE FEWER deductions one could use. That way the ultra-poor, poor and middle class would NOT bear the greatest burden (s compared to income) for running the government. Personally I DO NOT think those making over $250K should pay LESS THAN 40% in taxes EVER!

    April 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Brian Mooers

    Our tax codes are way too complicated. My federal return was 49 pages long this year...49! My proposal...eliminate all tax deductions...go to a simple straight percentage...make the tax form one page...8%-15% tax rate PERIOD.

    Lets make it so easy that accountants and/or computer software are no longer needed to help prepare your taxes.

    ...like that will ever happen.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  100. Mike

    No doubt it needs changing – something is seriously wrong when $5 billion in corporate profit generates no taxes. Even closer to home for me, something is seriously wrong when I as a small business owner can get a refund when I didn't pay in any taxes to start with.

    Flat Tax % for everyone young, old, person, company alike. No deductions at all, no credits – would need a threshold for income below which no tax is due. It's a math problem, so I'll leave the determination of the tax rate and threshold to the mathmeticians.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  101. Ken in NC

    Personal – Charge everyone 20% of their gross income PERIOD. No deductions, exceptions or favors.

    Business – Charge each business 20% of their gross income PERIOD. No deductions, exceptions or favors.

    I know this is to complicated for Congress to grasp but it will work.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  102. Steve Lenier

    It would be nice if for once the rich got poorer, the poor got richer, and those of us in the middle class could breathe comfortably. I don't expect not to pay taxes, but there are people who don't need all the money they make. I'm not one of those people. The very top tier of this country could do a lot of good for the rest of us, if they had to.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  103. Lisa Bates, Utah

    A simple, progressive tax is needed. Everyone would have a straight percentage of their income; with those who can afford more, paying more. This is the only fair way to raise enough money for the country.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Ricardo

    My solution is a Flat-rate Tax betwenn 10-13% with the first $100k tax free in order to help the middle class. Get rid of ecerything else inthe Federal Tax Code.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Scott Stodden

    Well Jack First They Can Start By Eliminating The George W. Bush Tax Cuts-This Should've Been Done When Our Great And Wonderful President Obama Decided For Some Wacky Reason To Reinstate The Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich! We Also Need To Raise Taxes On The Rich On Single's Making $150,000 Or More A Year And Couples Making $250,000 Or More A Year Because As We All Know The Rich Are Going To Always Spend Weather Or Not Taxes For Them Go Up Or Down And The More They Spend The More Revenue That Generates For The Economy! This Will Solve Alot Of Problems And Put Us Towards Beginning To Balance The Budget!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Larry (CA)

    I believe you can see by all of the responses to you that most Americans feel a flat tax with no IRS filing or state is above all the most popular. So who is against it...our elected officials, look at all the government rhetoric that would go away....small IRS, no tax lobbyists, wow that would great!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  107. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    Scrap the income tax, dismantle the IRS, and replace it all with a national sales tax. Our citizens should be taxed for what they spend, not what they earn, and what's more the tax would apply to anyone spending money in this country–not just the poor sap who works here

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Dave

    This is a no brainer. The Fairtax legislation is coming and makes all the sense in the world. We currently have less than half the people paying the entire amount of collectable taxes. Black market money, drug money, non W2 money is not getting taxed. The Fairtax referendum will collect tax from everyone including tourists coming into this country. If we didn't have such a currupt government, this would already be done. Medicare and SS cannot sustain itself without going to the Fairtax. Not only is the Fairtax logical, it will get rid of all the IRS employees that make their money off of the very system we are trying to make more efficient........go get a real job, please!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  109. Terry in Hanover County

    (1) Redefine the term "taxable income" in the IRS Code to mean "wages, salaries, tips, gratuities, gifts, dividends, interest, barter, inheritance over $250K..."; (2) Flat tax of 10%, no exemptions, no exceptions, no deductions; or, (3) Eliminate income tax and substitute a value-added tax of 10% on goods with the exceptions of food and medicine. The latter would greatly reduce the function of the IRS in that state treasuries could collect the tax and transmit these funds to the IRS. No paperwork, no annual filing - environmentally friendly and fewer headaches for current filers.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Ken

    I subscribe to the Abraham Lincoln philosophy of life and problem solving – Common Sense. In line with this, a flat income tax for ALL...no exceptions or deductions...would do the trick!

    Carlisle, PA

    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  111. Bob Albright

    Since all of us Seniors are so filthy rich as the Republicans so suggest. Then they should tax us 100 times more than big companys after all the big companys are going poor especially the big oil companys & wall street.


    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Floyd Jones

    Income tax should be fair. A flat tax of 5% of your income...no tax breaks, no loop holes, no unfair advantages. This would take the same money from the rich as well as the poor. If the rich have a problem with that, give me their milions and I would gladly pay 5%. The problem we have now is people that pay no taxes get income tax check back – sometimes upwards of 5-6 thousand dollars. Robinhood society? Steal from the rich and give to the poor? This does not make sense.

    Taxes should be fair across the board.

    Another option – do away with income tax and charge a federal tax on everything you purchase...that would hit everyone equally. If you buy a million dolar home, you pay taxes on that, if you buy a 20,000 dollar home you pay taxes equivalent to that. No loop holes, everyone pays the same rate.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Jim Spurr

    Corporations should pay taxes based on what their Annual report to their stockholders says. That way, they have to 'honestly' balance what they want their stockholders to believe against what they tell the IRS. Further, if they sell stock in the USA, they would owe taxes to the USA.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Wayne in Austin, Texas

    I've yet to hear a logical reason why a simple flat rate income tax wouldn't work. It would be extremely simple, eliminate a ton of cost in the IRS, tax preparation, codes and regulations, etc. and raise more total money to run the government. It just seems so logical. Guess that's why it'll never fly in Washington, D.C.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  115. Ron, WA

    The answer is a FLAT TAX of 10% with absolutely NO EXEMPTIONS for all individuals making over $20k/year & $45k/yr for families of 4 (some community service for those below that level); plus 22% for all corporations making a profit over $75k per year – NO EXEMPTIONS! Those measures & some fiscal responsibility would fix these ailments. A plan of this nature would have me paying more than today but at least I’d know it was a level playing field.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  116. Max Mattes

    The current system is Unfair – loopholes favor different groups, not you and me. It is based on Income, which is impossible to calculate for everyone. Solution – FAIR TAX – which will provide a National Sales Tax based on new consumption – with a prebate for everyone to cover those taxes up to 25,000 in purchases. WILL BRING JOBS back to USA. Will make American Corporations more competitive overseas, will delete ALL Compliance costs (Saving 500 Billion a Year). Also will bring into the tax fold those who use our services, but pay none – such as foreigh visitors, drug users, prostitutes, etc since they still buy stuff which will be taxed. The Flat tax has too many loopholes. VAT tax is too complicated. National Sales Tax is FAIR to everyone.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  117. WGS in PA


    You are kidding right!

    Tax payers have not lobbyists. U. S. corporations have thousands and give much much money to office holders in exchange for not paying any significant taxes but rather get corporate welfare checks from the IRS.
    GE, for example $26Billion in profit, cut 20 of all its American work force and got welfare payments of over $4 billion dollars. Bank of America $4.4 billion profit after the one TRILLION bailout received almost 2 billion dollars in IRS corporate welfare.

    The wealthiest 2% of Americans got 96% of the money but pay only 64% of the taxes.

    A fair tax system would have those with the most paying the most. This is just not going to happen.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  118. Gene Johnson

    I've become a tax conservative, Jack, and as such I think we need to return to the conservative tax rates of the Eisenhower era when the highest income earners paid 92% in federal income taxes. I remember an interview from a long time ago with Elvis Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker in which he said "I feel it's my patriotic duty to keep Elvis earning in the 90% income tax bracket." Let these folks who have benefited so mightily from America have the opportunity to support this nation by making a bigger investment in it.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  119. Andre

    get rid of state and fed. tax. increase sales tax to 20% in all states. Have the state and federal take it from there. This way the illegals, drug dealers, welfare, low income, middle class, rich and wealthy pay into it.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  120. Ken in San Antonio

    No household in America should pay nothing for all they get from the federal government while they live in the greatest nation the world has ever known. Every household should pay at least $100 per year for this privilege. Then whatever their tax return says they owe should be put on top of that $100. If their return works out to zero, they still owe the base amount of $100. 4th grade math indicates those 69 million households would contribute $6.9 B. Is $100 really too much for all they get by living in the US?

    April 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  121. birddog in Mississippi

    Count up the total amount of combat troops we have. Count how many come, on average, from each bracket. Charge each bracket 10 billion dollars for each soldier that their bracket doesn't provide. That way we won't go into wars so hastily & when we do, the people who should be paying for it will be paying for it.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  122. darrell joslin

    I know how the government will reform the tax code.The code will give more to the poor, and more to the rich and god help use in the middle. Because every time they talk about reforming the tax code it is code for lets raise the average persons taxes.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Michael from Manorville, NY

    Maybe I am dense Jack but I still do not understand why a flat tax is not viable and fair? It seems very fair if everyone had to pay the axact same percentage of what they earned then everyone whould be paying the same fair share. If there were absolutley NO write offs, NO loop holes, NO way of worming your way around the respsonibility and NO tax lawyers or accountants that could get you off then the family making $50,000/year and the millionaire would be paying into the sytem proportionately. But that would also mean taking the BS out of the tax code and elimintaing the need for high priced accountants and lawyers. Our congress has never been open to reducing the need for lawyers since they are all lawyers themselves. Plus it would take all the confusion and tens of thousands of pages out of the tax code. Why make is simple when they can continue to keep us in the dark about what they are really taking in. It also eliminates the ability for the super rich to pay lawyers to reduce what they pay. KISS would apply very fairly and effectively as far as I can tell.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Harlan Hiltner

    Harlan Hiltner Pahoa Hawaii

    Removing ALL loopholes because if there are any those that have the means will find them and ways to use them. Personally I believe we should have a temporary tax hike on all but the poorest so we don't have to cut everything to the bone.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  125. Wallace Freeman

    How about linking taxation to representation, remember that one? Every person and corporation's vote should be multiplied by the amount of taxes they pay. Those who pay zero taxes get zero votes. Those who pay lots of taxes get lots of votes. Those who pay the piper will call the tune and politicians will no longer be able to pretend somebody else will pay for what gets legislatively enacted. And yes, corporations that pay taxes should get votes that are sent out to the stockholders with their proxy statements to determine how those votes will be cast.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  126. Bob in Houston

    We should create several new top tax brackets for the wealthy. From 2003 to 2008, 76 percent of the wealth generated went to the top 2 percent. The rich have to start paying more if we don't want our children speaking Chinese.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  127. Claudia, Houston

    If I have to pay taxes, then everybody should and if they don't, they should be criminalize. That ought to change the tax laws.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  128. John Schilling, Chanbersburg, PA

    The answer is simple, but it'll never happen. Scrap the IRS and switch to the FAIR TAX. If you don't understand it read the book. Unfortunately, with 40% paying zero tax the politicians are in no hurry to move from status quo.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  129. Sandy, Eugene, OR

    Jack, it is not only a problem of loop holes and tax rates, it is all the "give-aways" that go with them. Talk to most younger people and see that they have become completely accustomed to child tax credits, making work pay credits, earned income credits and education credits. I have prepared a number of returns this year, where the average federal withholding was in the neighborhood of $1,800 and the REFUND was between $4,000 and $6,000! Some even more! And most of these people look at me in surprise when I point out the amount of "free" money they receive. They seem to think it is only fair, and is their due.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  130. Max Mattes

    FAIR TAX is the way to go – based on consumption, not income, which is impossible to calculate exactly

    The Flat Tax has too many loopholes, since how do you figure income?

    National Sales tax (The Fair Tax) collects from everybody, therefore it is Fair – and no loopholes. Plus Saves 500 Billion in compliance costs, which is not chump change.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  131. ken in Rochester NY

    Roll back the Republican tax cuts for the wealthy!

    Extend the social security and medicare payroll taxes to those earning more than $106,000!!!

    Make corporations pay at least a minimum 20% tax of GROSS income regardless of any legal loopholes and financial engineering their (975 in
    GE's case) tax accountants can do!

    April 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Barry Faulkner

    Most of the very wealthy inherited their money. Tax their wealth not their income. A fellow has a billion dollars take half of it. That'll leave him half a billion. I think he'll get by.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  133. brett

    there should be a lower flat tax for everbody and for all businesses. no deductions. this is the most fair and simple change that can be made. but then again those who make the laws, ie congress, would never pass such a change since the lawmakers are themselves, along with their wealthy supporters , some of the very rich fat cats benefiting from the present tax code.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  134. Bryan (New York)

    Young people today must pay for Social Security, Medcare/Medicaid and three wars (defense) which make up more than sixty percent of the budget. Social Security is for the retirement of seniors. Medicare/Medicaid is for heatlhcare for seniors and the poor. The three wars are helping muslim nations build democracy which will ultimately be futile. These are all programs that young workers have to pay for that offer them no benefit. Put a flat tax rate system in where everyone pays X percent for every extra dollar they earn. Allow people to opt out of programs they don't want to be in so they can run their own lives and not have to pay for others if they don't want to. If the government wants to start anymore charity wars, raise the money privately.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  135. Tim in Texas

    Put a $30,000 deduction for each adult, and a $5000 deduction for each child up to two (one per person). Take the top income in the country and tax it at 30%, and then drop down in percentage points from there to 5%. Add a 2% 'tax' which is added to your social security but is invested in the markets for anybody making below $200K after personal exemptions – no capital gains tax on that. All other capital gains should be taxed at 2% lower than income brackets. No deductions. Three make work pay brackets at those making under $30K.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  136. Bob Doss

    Ideally, income tax would be eliminated in favor of a consumption tax.

    If we must keep the income tax, then every income earner (human or corporate) should pay the exact same FLAT RATE. The first $x,xxx should be a BASE EXEMPTION (for everyone) to protect those in true poverty.

    We should stop using the Tax Code to do SOCIAL ENGINEERING. Social behaviors which are not related to tax revenues should be subsidized directly or not at all.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  137. Ken in San Antonio

    Stop referring to relative amounts of what people pay and talk in absolute amounts. The top 400 wage earners in 2007, according to the IRS, averaged income of $345,000 and paid 17% in taxes. That's $58,650. Meanwhile, the average taxpayer earned approx. $75K and paid 9.3%, or $6,975 and 45% in that average group paid nothing. The top 20% of wage earners continue to pay 80% of the tax bill. Enough rubbish about them not paying their 'fair share'.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  138. Joel in Baton Rouge

    Seems like alot of common folk all have the same idea, a simple flat tax. Politicians will fight a flat tax without exemptions for the most basic of all reasons, re-elections, they loose the power to give benifits to groups of supporters. Tax breaks equate to votes, a flat tax eliminates that sacred cow. Would likely eliminate a majority of the IRS positions, a union will fight it as anti -worker with Obama backing.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  139. Peter Bonafonte, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    It could be changed to 3 lines.

    How much did you recieve from any source?
    How much did you spend?
    Send us the difference.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  140. Joshua-Glendora CA

    Higher income households really need to start paying taxes that are proportional to the effect taxation has on those with lower incomes. We also need to start taxing corporations that outsource jobs to other countries as a way to compensate the effect it has on our country.

    I hate to say it but it almost seems like the rich are trying to keep the rest of the country in their place, with the growing social-economic gap, and the funding for community colleges being cut drastically...among other cuts that will have sad ramifications among low income families.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  141. Diane

    Stop taxing unemployment, especially if it's your only income. The idea that GE and many other huge companies paid nothing on billions in income and the unemployed are paying taxes galls me big time.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  142. Cee, La

    Close all loopholes.......and all the tax credits......what is the sense in paying taxes to supposedly run this country, and give more back to some than they paid in.......voodoo math......no wonder we are trillions in debt......simplify the tax code........

    April 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  143. Mary Ann Fenderson

    Toss out the old and build a new tax code from scratch. But first, get a national agreement on a few common principles on which to build it. One might be that a new tax code will be fair and progressive: If you make more, you pay more. Another: that it will be concise and clear and accessible to all. To me, the most important: When the core code needs to be adjusted, the public will weigh in - even vote - on every tax break and loophole proposed, with a mandatory sunset clause. Next up: a new budget development process ...

    April 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  144. Lindell


    My wife and I are very middle class, but I must not be paying my accountant enough. I paid my taxes this morning and the portion of my income that went to taxes was 17.3%. It is time to close the loop holes, tax deferred investments. Deductions for health costs, mortgage interest, and a flat deduction for dependents should be allowed, other than that nothing else. Include Capital Gains in the income and tax it the same way. Higher incomes should have a higher tax rate than lower income groups.


    April 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  145. Gigi Oregon

    The tax rate should be for those making over $70,000. If you have children or are over 70. Then a flat tax for everyome else.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  146. Ralph Nelson

    Return to Clinton tax rates. Eliminate overseas "offices" that allow so many U.S. corporation to avoid paying taxes. Eliminate most deductions (especially for rich). Make it "progressive"...no flat rate regressive (middle class pays more, rich less) tax structure. Take it out of the hands of politicians who just use it to transfer wealth to the rich and win elections by being fiscally irresponsible.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  147. Joe

    Fair tax, flat tax, the same frying pan for all of the bacon in the wrapper... Didn't I just hear recently that General Electric Corporation won't be paying anything this year? Too many loop-holes for depreciation, deductions and exemptions. If everyone has to sacrifice to eliminate our debt, then everyone must go on a fiscal diet, corporations included. I don't mind giving up my standard deduction and refund if GE will give up their army of lawyers, accountants and Washington lobbyists that ride the wave of irresponsibility that just TODAY, crippled our bond rating in the World.
    (GE shareholder)

    April 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  148. gwtripp

    The rich pay far too much in taxes. We should be liking their shoes and thanking them for all the wonderful things they provide all of us, like jobs, health insurance, unemployment insurance, social security, medicare, food stamps, head start, etc. What is that you say Jack, the Republicans are trying to get rid of all these programs? I take back everything nice I ever said about rich people, most of them anyway.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  149. Bob Hitchner

    Let's make this really simple. Everyone who gets a pay check and every business pays a flat 5% tax on their gross income or gross business receipts. That's it ! No deductions, not even if you're married, young, old, blind or putting six kids through college. Just cough up the 5% and move on with life. We'll be rolling in money faster than Congress can spent it...well maybe not that fast but better than we're doing now.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  150. Peter Waterman

    Jack – If you earn a dollar you pay a percentage ( 10, 8 or whatever) to the fed. If you are single and have 10 kids you pay the same as the person that is single or if you own Trump Towers. NO DEALS, NO LOOPHOLES, IF IT,S EARNED IN THIS COUNTRY IT IS TAXED IN THIS COUNTRY.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  151. Brian

    I am not an economist, but I am curious why no one has talked of a small VAT of say, 2-3%. It could access revenues of those individuals who never pay any income(the underground economy) and still keep most states total sales tax under 10%.

    Also, why not put in a flat tax in the 8-10% range starting around 30-40K for individuals and a similar one for corporations. Then adjust the progressive tax accordingly.

    Just a thought...

    April 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  152. William

    We should all tax that would be fair for rich and poor but if all money is not met well i guess you pay more on your next tax..... i dont really know exactly but this is how i would set it up im only 15. TAX will never end no matter what you do.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  153. Randy Rogers

    I agree with most. A flat tax either sales or income, dont care.

    The progressive tax with all the loop holes and deductions is way to complicated and makes no sense. Pick a rate and put it on everyone.

    April 18, 2011 at 5:57 pm |