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Gore and Taxes, Gore and Taxes, Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage

By Dwight Patel, Association of Concerned Taxpayers
October 16, 2000

Al Gore and taxes seem to go hand-in-hand, ever since his days in the House.  It is a safe statement to make that Al Gore has never seen a tax that he thought was too high.  Now Gore talks about “targeted tax cuts,” which have all the characteristics of new spending programs.

Al “Father of the Internet” Gore doesn’t propose eliminating income taxes for low income Americans.  Rather, he seems to identify some favored constituencies, and “targets” his tax cuts to them.  Governor George Bush on the other hand, proposes “blind” tax cuts that come from eliminating some specific taxes, but concentrating on lowering tax rates in all categories.  Incidentally, this proposal has the effect of completely eliminating the income tax for six million low income Americans.

Governor Bush opposes imposing new taxes on the Internet.  Bush seems to understand that taxing Internet connections and Internet-specific transactions would devastate the development of this engine of prosperity.  Taxes that treat the Internet exactly as other transactions are not affected by the Bush proposal

On the other hand, Al Gore is much more favorable to taxes on the Internet, and susceptible to the arguments of those who argue that local jurisdictions are losing billions of dollars.  Internet taxes would be similar to the Gore “telephone tax” which is designed to wire schools and rural communities to the Internet, which sounds good until you realize that that wiring is already taking place without government subsidies.  Taxes of this kind impose real costs on Internet connections.  As they trickle down to individual users, they raise connection costs and decimate the high tech industry.  These taxes force those Americans on a fixed income like seniors, some middle class families and low income American (from whom Al Gore still wants to collect an income tax)

Governor Bush supports tax relief for single parents.  Under his plan a single parent making $36,000 a year, with two kids, would receive $1,500 in tax relief.  Gore’s “targets” aimed at this same constituency impose numerous provisions further complicating an already too-complex tax code.

Governor Bush favors real tax relief for seniors.  Under this plan seniors will be able to deduct the cost of long term care insurance.  Al Gore’s plan has NO TAX RELEIF for seniors; under the Gore plan seniors would pay more.

Governor Bush supports the elimination of the death tax.  Al Gore supports the death tax and would veto any legislation that would attempt to put an end to the Death Tax.

Governor Bush supports a across the board tax cut.  Al Gore doesn’t.  Gore seems to think the Government knows how to spend your money better than you do.  Governor Bush’s plan will give an average family making $50,000 (which is not rich as Al Gore would like us to believe) would receive approximately $1,200 dollars back.  Don’t know about the Vice President but I could do a lot with an extra $1,200.

The Association of Concerned Taxpayers was organized to lobby for a flat tax.  Neither candidate’s proposal approaches this desired reform, but one’s proposal moves marginally in that direction while the others will create reams of new rulings and regulations as the “targets” are fleshed out and vetted by the Internal Revenue Service.

Dwight Patel serves on the Board of the Association of Concerned Taxpayers

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© Dwight Patel, 2000

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