Opinion

How the tea party can 'agree' with Occupy movement's demands

Given the somewhat amorphous slogans of the Occupy Wall Street movement, members of the tea party may be wondering if they should join the fray. University of Denver law professor Robert Hardaway suggests how the tea party might “agree” with five of the Occupy movement's top demands – in its own way:

3. No more economic oppression

No longer should half of all Americans be permitted to not pay a dime in federal income tax while many collect massive government benefits from the other half who works and pays taxes to support them. Give everyone a stake in their government by expanding the federal income tax base so that a disproportionate tax burden is not placed on the top 1 percent and 10 percent who pay the bulk of all income tax revenue.

Stop assuming that raising the marginal tax rate on “the rich” will definitively increase overall revenues. In fact, when John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan reduced the marginal tax rate, government revenues skyrocketed, and the percentage of income that the “rich” paid increased dramatically because of tax simplification and elimination of deductions favored by the rich.

Don’t repeat the mistakes of the Hoover depression of 1929 by trying to raise taxes. That era was followed by the Roosevelt depression of 1937 (which made the depression of 1929 look like a picnic). Instead, replace the billions, even trillions, of dollars of purchasing power American consumers lost in the great Freddie Mac housing bubble collapse by reducing taxes, not by printing money for not-ready-for-shovel government “projects.” This would create demand for actual goods and services instead of government paper-pushers.

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