In the United States today, the gap between the rich and the poor is the widest it’s been since 1929, the year the stock market crashed. Everyone seems to have their own solution for getting the countries economy back on track, but some of the alleged “plans” look to make things worse.
Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, recently proposed his “9-9-9” tax plan that would lower the corporate tax rate to 9%, impose a 9% flat tax for all Americans and add a 9% national sales tax on top of the state sales tax. The problem with this plan is that it acts as a regressive tax, putting the majority of the burden on the lowest income earners in the country. The “9-9-9” plan would raise taxes on 84% of Americans. With Cain’s plan starting to lose popularity and credibility, former front-runner and fading Tea Party star Rick Perry, has unveiled his new plan to get the economy back on track. Calling his plan “Cut, Balance and Grow,” it seems to be more of the same from the conservative mindset. Perry’s plan puts a “flat tax” on all income at 20% while giving people the option to opt out and stay at their current level if they wants to.
A flat tax sounds easy, simple and fair, but in reality it’s completely unfair. Lowering the top tax bracket from its current rate of 35% down to 20%, only continues to give the wealthiest Americans a huge tax cut while hurting the country in the short and long-term. Even by giving Americans an option to stay at the tax rate where they are, the country is still being deprived of revenue. In addition, Perry’s 20% “flat tax” would cut all taxes on capital gains and dividends giving the richest Americans even more of a tax break.
As Perry looks to stretch the gap between the rich and the poor by giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy, he is also looking to destroy the most successful government program in history, social security. Currently, social security has a $2.6 trillion surplus and can pay out 100% of its benefits until 2037 and nearly 80% of its benefits until 2057. Rick Perry and the radicals on the right plan to privatize social security by handing it over to Wall Street so they can gamble with Americans money in hopes of making a profit. Social security was created in 1935 when 90% of all seniors were living below the poverty line, today that number is down to 10%. To fix social security you don’t need to give it to private companies, you simply need to restructure how it works. Currently, there is a cap on social security at $106,000. When an individual’s income goes over that current cap, they are no longer taxed on social security, An example of this is someone who makes $1 million a year and is currently taxed on social security at only 10% of their income, as opposed to someone making $50,000 a year that pays 100% of their income into social security. Rick Perry and the Republicans are planning to destroy a program that millions of people rely on and they don’t seem to care.
If the richest Americans continue to pocket-money while shifting the burden on the shoulders of average Americans, the wealth gap will only continue to grow. In next year’s elections, no matter who the candidates are, Americans will have a choice to make. Either vote for fairness or continue to let the rich take over.