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Spending, Taxes, Deficits

How to raise $500 billion w/o raising income tax rates?    

The easiest way would be to focus on tax enforcement (i.e. making people pay what they owe).   Current (2021) estimates of the tax "gap" are almost $700 billion.  If even half of that amount is realistic, this is way too big to ignore.  

Moreover, we need an IRS the same way we need ICE, the FBI, the military and local police.  I’m aware of the history of the IRS targeting conservatives, but we can’t become the party of tax cheats and throw the baby out with the bath water.   

Aside from enforcement, there are other tax expenditures (i.e. favorable treatment) we could end - 2023 estimates of values are below (all $ in billions).  Total $498 billion.

  1. Employer paid health insurance - $224
  2. Tax capital gains at ordinary income rates - $105
  3. Reduce 401k contribution limits by half - $49
  4. Capital gains exclusions on home sales - $43
  5. Step up of capital gains taxes at death - $43
  6. Tax qualified dividends at ordinary income rates - $34 

Nobody likes taxes, but we need to be adults about it and acknowledge that Democrats will demand something in return for spending cuts. 

Citizens for Jim Hemenway
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