Esme’s Blog: Raising Taxes Without Raising Taxes

It is a nod to the complexity of our tax code that one solution to preventing the nation from diving off the fiscal cliff would be to raise taxes without raising taxes.

One proposal would require those making more than $400,000 a year to have their entire salary taxed at the existing rate of 35 percent.

Currently, portions of these high salaries are taxed at lower rates — anything over $400,000 is taxed at the higher rate. This apparently would allow some Republicans to claim they are not raising tax rates.

Also being considered would be a roll-back to the pre-2001 tax code that would bar the wealthy from itemizing deductions. It is not clear how much Republican support can be achieved for these types of proposals.

But some kind of movement is needed. And soon, before everyone’s taxes rise, sharp cuts to everything from defense to social programs go into effect, and another deep recession becomes a virtual certainty.

More from Esme Murphy
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