Trump, Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, Lottery?

As we continue the march toward what will be a most unusual general election in November, many things that we all suspected about the discord among our federal legislators are proving to be true. They don’t even like or respect one another! It’s no wonder that Congress is so polarized, resulting in a lot of wasted energy for not much in the way of results.

Elected office has ceased to be about public service and is now all about building personal power. The astonishing level of support for Donald Trump, a so-called Washington outsider, has taken on a life of its own, and there are trust issues around the Democratic front runner. The voting public is mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

What does that rant have to do with taxes? A lot actually.

In reviewing the various tax proposals of the original candidates, there are enormous differences. Trump wants a top individual tax rate of 25% and Sanders 52%, as compared to the current top rate of 39.6%. Almost all of the Republican candidates proposed eliminating the alternative minimum tax (a great idea by the way).

Clinton would just tweak the current rules, meaning more of the status quo. Aside from the fact that many band-aid fixes were finally made permanent in 2015, not a lot of people are happy with the status quo. What that probably means is more discord and less compromise within the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Cruz may have had the best idea of all: abolish the IRS altogether! And that, argues Citizens for Tax Justice, would effectively reduce all federal revenue because, “After all, without a tax collection agency, why would anyone pay taxes?”

I would suggest instead a national lottery. People unquestioningly stand in line to pay for the privilege of having no control over the results, kind of like us taxpayers. Maybe that will pay for free college and healthcare for everyone!