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Voice of the People: A radical run for the presidency

January 11, 2001

My pen name is ARO, standing for "a radical one." And I am a mock "candidate of the people" running for president under the banner Becoming, If Not Being, Your President.

My platform includes (in part):

(1) There shall be no more or less government than necessary.

(2) I support higher and lower taxes, as the case may be, based on balancing the budget and setting the tax rates accordingly.

(3) There shall never be a surplus. Rather, there would be fund balance, available to apply to next year's budget, i.e.

(a) Budget requirements

-Debt service

-Appropriations for expenditures

-Provisions for reserves

(b) Available financing


-Fund balance, available

-Prior year revenues

-Current year revenues

(4) I support a standing debt-reduction policy that shall give direction to borrowing as well as to debt service budgeting.

(5) Social Security and Medicare shall be recognized and respected as trust fund budgets (which are companion to but separate from the general fund budget). And they shall be properly financed.

A balanced budget is defined as:

-The budget requirements and the available financing being equal

"Setting the tax rates accordingly" begins with determining the scope of the subject taxes, e.g.

-Ordinary income tax

-Capital gain tax

-Inheritance tax

-Gift tax

-Corporate profit tax

An "across-the-board-tax-rate" approach means the existing tax structures of the subject taxes will be used, which translates to a percentage increase or decrease of the existing rates.

Obviously, the "level of exemption for inheritance tax" and "flat tax versus accelerated tax" approaches constitute other issues.

Fortunately, the "across the board" approach does not raise these issues. Therefore, it simplifies the process for "setting tax rates accordingly," i.e.

(1) Current year revenues are estimated for everything but the "subject tax revenues."

(2) based on balancing the budget, this "available financing amount" subtracted from the "budget requirements" identifies the tax revenues which are needed.

(3) The formula for calculating the tax rates based on (1) the "existing tax structures," and (2) the "need for tax revenues" is straight forward.

It may well be the measure of the fairness of a radical is his or her ideas are equally objectionable to all the political forces. And this case, the political forces include:

-Republicans and Democrats

-Conservatives, moderates and liberals

The question is, will Allen Greenspan and the Federal Reserve board ask, "Where's the fudge factor?"


El Centro

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