Friday, April 23, 2010

The Washington Tax Attack Marches On

The worst thing I’ve seen recently, by far, is the Senate Budget Committee’s new mark-up to jack the dividend tax from 15 percent all the way up to 40 percent. What in the world are these people thinking?

This is a direct tax attack on capital, jobs, the stock market, and entrepreneurs. It would take effect next year, in 2011, which is not so far from where we are right now in late April 2010.

This tax attack would come on top of a scheduled capital-gains tax hike. And then you’ve got a potential hike of the alternative minimum tax as well as a hike of the inheritance/death tax. And there’s more: In his Cooper Union speech yesterday, President Obama renewed the call for a new bank tax. Remember that one? You thought it was dead? Nope. It’s still alive.

Finally, you’ve got all the chatter about a European-style value-added tax, or VAT.

This is all terrible for economic growth. Whatever happened to the tea-party Contract from America, which calls for constitutional limits on taxing, spending, and ultra-big government?

Washington is not listening.

Incidentally, a new Pew poll reveals that a staggering 80 percent of Americans do not trust Washington. What a shocker. (Read Dan Henninger’s great column in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal on this very important point.) Is anyone really surprised at this poll’s results?

Again, what happened to the tea-party call for limited government, limited spending, and limited taxation? That’s what I want to know.