Lou Barletta embraced the fringe flat tax plan in the Scranton Times Tribune. A flat tax requires every person to pay the same, identical flat rate of income tax. It provides for no deductions, credits, or variables. Kiss your mortgage interest deduction good bye along with that deduction for local taxes.
Taxes are used to reward good behavior (buying a fuel efficient car for example) or punish bad (polluters forced to pay for their handiwork). The wealthier people are the more is expected of them to contribute to society. We generally exempt the poor.
Lou Barletta says the minimum wage worker making $7.15/hour should pay the same rate as a corporate CEO earning $20 million a year. How soon Republicans threw aside their convention mantra of “to whom much is given much is required.” Pure rhetoric designed to hide their real agenda: shift the tax burden to working people.
Incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorksi criticized Barletta’s policy plan:
“How can Republicans like Lou Barletta ask middle class, Northeastern Pennsylvanians to take a hit on their home values so the wealthy can get a tax cut?” asked Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski. “Barletta, like fellow Republicans Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback and Steve Forbes, love the flat tax. It is another way Republicans try to package a tax cut for the wealthy and sell it as something that’s good for everyone. But just like George W. Bush did when he pushed his tax breaks, Barletta and these Republicans don’t tell you how the middle class pays for this upper class tax break.”
“Part of the idea with the flat tax is it brings to an end the practice of tax credits for your home, charitable contributions and healthcare. You can’t have it both ways. Right now, Lou Barletta either has no tax policy or no way to pay for healthcare.”
“At a time when we should be creating incentives for people to save and protecting the value of their homes, this plan would kill it. Between his plans to privatize Social Security and support for a flat tax, I don’t know how anyone would ever be able to retire in Lou Barletta’s America.”