Tim Pawlenty might not have made a great impression during Monday’s debate, but actions speak louder than words. And Pawlenty’s actions on the tax front are loud indeed. Just to refresh your memory, here’s his plan:
We should cut the business tax rate by more than half. I propose reducing the current rate from 35% to 15%….On the individual rates we need a simpler, fairer and flatter tax system overall. I propose just two rates, 10% and 25%. Under my plan, those who currently pay no income tax would stay at a zero rate. After that, the first fifty-thousand dollars of income or one-hundred thousand for married couples would be taxed at 10%. Everything above that would be taxed at 25%. That’s it….In addition, we should eliminate all together the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax and the death tax.
The Tax Policy Center has done its best to turn this into hard numbers, and the chart on the right shows the results. As usual, a bone is thrown to us schmoes making 50 grand or so: our after-tax incomes would go up about 5%. Let’s all go to Disneyland! But the real action is at the high end: income increases of 15-20% for the wealthy. Party time! And the super-rich millionaire class? It’s Katy bar the door: they’ll see their after-tax income go up by a walloping 33%. Time to buy that second yacht!
Say what you want about how boring Pawlenty is, but he knows his audience: scraps for the middle class who aren’t in on the con while the wealthy who understand exactly what’s going on rake in billions. Is that cynical behavior from this son of a milk truck driver? Sure. But hardly a surprise from anyone who knows the Republican Party’s real power base. Pawlenty obviously knows it better than most.