Republican Budget Would Slash Taxes, Establish Two-Bracket Tax System And Scrap AMT

Tyler Durden's picture

While it has no chance of passage, the GOP 2013 budget, details of which have been leaked by the WSJ, proposes slashing corporate and individual tax rates, collapsing the current six tax bracket system into just two tiers (10% and 25%), lowering top corporate tax rate to 25% and scrapping the anachronism that is the AMT, or Alternative Minimum Tax. Finally, the proposed plan would nearly eliminate U.S. taxes on American corporations' earnings from overseas operations: something which companies with foreign cash would be rather happy to hear. Needless to say, Democrats will promptly dead end this budget in the Senate: "The proposal, to be offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), who has become the Republicans' leading figure on budget issues, has little chance of becoming law soon. While likely to be welcomed by House GOP rank-and-file members, it would be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate."

Among the more contentious issues is the elimination of some top individual tax brackets...

The current tax system has six individual tax brackets, with a top marginal rate of 35%. The proposal to replace it with just two brackets, with rates of 10% and 25%, echoes proposals by some GOP presidential contenders. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum would reduce rates to 10% and 28%; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would cut current rates by one-fifth; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul support some form of flat tax.

...As well as the elimination of repatriation taxation, allowing companies like Apple to bring back their foreign cash horde tax free:

The new budget also would lower the top corporate tax rate to 25% from 35% and plunge into a fierce debate about how to tax companies' overseas operations. Currently, U.S. companies pay the tax rate of the country where the outpost is located and then, if they bring those profits home, often pay some U.S. taxes as well. Under the Ryan-Camp proposal, companies essentially would pay just the tax rate of the country where the profits are earned.

So why is the GOP proposing this?

"We don't expect to make law this year, but we expect to give the country an alternative choice for the future," Mr. Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said in an interview. "We're going into this election with a specific plan and showing how we could realize it and get it done."


The document was drafted with input from Rep. David Camp (R., Mich.), who heads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and has long pushed for a tax overhaul. "We think it's very important to have a clear message on jobs and the economy," Mr. Camp said. "The code is too costly, too burdensome, and it's hurting job creation, so we think we should take action."

Democrats see the tax issue as a smokescreen:

Democrats see the tax proposal as an attempt to deflect attention from the more controversial parts of Mr. Ryan's budget, such as a Medicare overhaul and a decision to set 2013 spending levels at a lower figure than that agreed to in the debt-limit deal last August.


"Republicans are on a maddening push once again to end Medicare and raise health-care costs for seniors, while giving more special tax breaks to big oil companies and millionaires," said Rep. Steve Israel (D., N.Y.), who coordinates the House Democrats' campaigns.


Mr. Ryan caused a furor last year by proposing to change Medicare from a program in which the government pays directly for health care into a "premium support" program for those currently 55 or younger. Medicare would subsidize beneficiaries' premiums as they bought private insurance.

In other words, it is a given that none of the proposed by the GOP will happen.

Instead, the Democrats favor the Buffett rule, which seeks to further widen the class divide by making the wealthy pay progressively more, in the process funding even greater bailouts of TBTF financial institutions, and the even greater encroachment of the insolvent welfare state.

So while the political theatrics continue, the US still has to decide what expenditures it will cut as part of last summer's debt ceiling deal. That this will not happen is also a given.

Which makes us wonder: why even pretend with taxation? As we have shown, the US is progressively more reliant on debt issuance as a funding source for all deficit. At last check debt issuance served to fund 54% of all government expenditures, as tax revenues net of refunds now account for less than half. In fact as of today, in Fiscal 2012 the US has issued $115 billion more in debt ($776 billion) than it has collected in net tax revenues ($661 billion).

So why pretend America will ever repay its debt? Why engage in meaningless political theatrics and senseless optics, and collect taxes at all, as sooner or later virtually all US deficits will be funded through debt issuance, and thus Fed monetization? Why not just cut all marginal tax rates to 0%, and get consumers to truly enjoy a few months of unbridled spending euphoria before the hyperinflation hits?

Alas, we won't find many answers here or anywhere.

For the interested, here is the personal message from Paul Ryan in the form of a rhetorical question. It too will not be answered: after all America (and everyone else, everywhere) has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that taking pain in the short-term, in order to avoid a complete catastrophe in the longer-term, is not only unacceptable, it is inconceivable. Especially when there are iTrinkets to be distracted with.

The Path to Prosperity Budget: Your Country. Your Future. Your Choice.


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BKbroiler's picture

well finally a smert feller. 

the meat is disgusting, factory farming, rBGH and other hormones, antibiotics, corn and animal feed, and fillers

You're saying the failure of an agency in any way invalidates all it's efforts. FAIL

your asinine assumption is that... the US has gotten better in direct proportion to the size of its government

I never referred to or implied the size of government. FAIL

The Fed is how your beloved Savior State funds your oppression "services"

No.  I disagree with the FED's existence, and it is not needed to maintain human services. FAIL

nothing but a wealth redistribution - from those who produce to those who do not

I benefit from roads and other services and I also pay taxes. FAIL


Fuck, I thought the readership here could do better.  You wouldn't know Hobbes from Calvin sir.

Dave Thomas's picture

What parts are you supporting again?


A Nanny Moose's picture

"You're saying the failure of an agency in any way invalidates all it's efforts. FAIL"

Forest-Trees. As if any of the rest of the alphabet soup of government agency fucktards, are doing any better than the USDA.

You presume that without government, none of these dangers would be mitigated, nor would infrastructure exist. You also presume that such dangers are being mitigated with government at the helm. They aren't...and government still has all the fucking guns.

Bobbyrib's picture

You assume the 19th century never took place.

Leraconteur's picture

The portion of the Federal budget that has to do with regulation and consumer safety, is small. Less than 10% of the current budget.

The numbers are:

Medicare and Medicaid 793
Social Security OASI & DI 701
DOD 689
Discretionary 660
Other Mandatory (pensions) 416
Net Interest 197
Total: 3456

Discretionary includes lots of stuff, and much of it is NOT FDA, etc.

The US Government could shrink by a factor of 5, -80%, to 20% of its current size and the food water and roads would remain unchanged, in the same poor condition they are now.

Also, some people have wells. No government made that water clean. Some people have a septic tank. Same. Some people have gravel roads paid for by the local government and a very small tax burden. Some roads are dirt. No taxes.

You argue, poorly, in favor of more gov't and more taxes.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"tax is the lifeblood of civilization"?????

Holy. Fucking. Shit. You have to be fucking kidding me. That is the all-time stupidest thing ever written at this website.

Taxes KILL civilizations, fuckwit.

GoinFawr's picture

Like too much of anything they can, but to imply that they always do is universally stupid.

StychoKiller's picture

Ratchet Theory of Government

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence -- it is FORCE"
George Washington

GoinFawr's picture

And the facts are that sociopaths/psychopaths need to be coerced/forced to behave, all your pet theories aside.

Race Car Driver's picture

> "The problem is, you rely on government mandated clean water to come from your sink, government mandated police department to keep bad people away, USDA approved meat, and thousands of other little protections offered to you."

The problem is - this is all bullshit.

Tap water is filthy and laden with toxic chemicals and psychotropic pharma drugs. The cops aren't there to protect anyone but to earn income for the state and pump the prison industrial complex... and the USDA wouldn't know a quality piece of meat if it slapped them in the head (see: Pink Slime and Meat Glue).

I junked ya for your sheer ignorance and trying to pass this bullshit off as something real and of quality.

GoinFawr's picture

I junked you for being unable to see past your own screen door.

duncangraper's picture

Shocking how the Romans could eat for so long without USDA approved meat

ToddANON's picture

I'll take another helping of pink slime please!

GoinFawr's picture

You're saying that the Romans didn't have any food safety regulations/inspectors? Pull the other one.

Libertarian777's picture

Aaah yes...

so we rely on government water with hydroflouric acid in it, USDA approved pink slime and police who violate the 1st and 4th amendment with impunity

Yes yes, absolutely, where would we be without the federal government?

I'm not against taxes, I'm against INCOME taxes. Taxes on consumption to pay for the cost of what you consume is how a FREE market would use the pricing mechanism to determine supply and demand, instead of using subsidies from one group to pay for another.

Gas taxes, if they were actually used for roads, are the closest form of the correct implementation of a tax. Unfortunately gas taxes go into the general fund and are squandered, and our roads fall into disrepair.

Income taxes and the draft are the one and the same. Income taxes state what you earn belongs to the state and they will let you keep some of it. The draft states your LIFE belongs to the state for them to dispose of as they please. It is no different than King George III's claimed powers over the colonists.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

You sir, in one small paragraph have hit the fucking nail on the head!!!

blunderdog's picture

So I guess your idea is that maybe you'd only pay for the police after you got robbed?

Matt's picture

Oh, do the police arrive at your place BEFORE the robbery?

I'm assuming most libertarians would rather simply use deadly force to not get robbed in the first place.

GoinFawr's picture

Chicken vs. egg. Can a serial burglar break into your house from prison? You implying police have never caught anyone in the act?

And I doubt bd is suggesting that you can't combine self defence with a publicly funded police force monitored by civil oversight and subject to you the sovereign

"...Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle, Bobbie Sue took the money and run... Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas. You know he knows just exactly what the fact is. He ain't gonna let those two escape justice. He makes his livin' off other people's taxes..." -Steve Miller Band

And yeah,  in my experience that's the rule and not the exception, at least in the case of violent blue collar crime.

atomicwasted's picture

Thank you for the reminder, Elizabeth Warren.

Malachi Constant's picture

Tax is as old as civiliation and there's a good reason for that. It's the lifeblood of it.

  1. You are confusing civilization with evolution. As 2012 shows, they are mutually exclusive.
  2. People smarter and better than you were robbed so you be taught to tell one from the other. You failed them.
  3. Don't stop, keep talking! Keep joining discussions! More people need to realize just what kind of creatures the state shields from Natural Selection at their expense.
Malachi Constant's picture

How do you delete comments??!

Moe Howard's picture

Government clean water? The water from the tap that they give an EPA "exemption" to the water companies to dump the industrial waste fluroide into? With a government like that, who needs ememies?

Bill D. Cat's picture

The first sentence would make a fine bumpersticker .

AnAnonymous's picture

Any income tax on natural humans above 0% is the functional equivalent of slavery. This is an inarguable fact.


Unarguable fact, US citizenism...Yeah, yeah, it is the way it is.

Any income tax on natural humans (forget sub humans and non humans) beneath 0pc is the functional equivalent of emancipation. This is an inarguable fact.

Mitzibitzi's picture

Having spent 40-some weeks reading your posts, my friend, I'd like to offer some constructive criticism:

Will you PLEASE go away and take courses in English (focussing on sentence structure, paragraph construction and grammar - and yes, I fully realise that English is probably not your first language. The same is true of many here. Most of whom do a far better job than you do), Logic, History and Sociology (well, if you could find an unbiased course, which you probably couldn't even in a Western country) before you post anything else?

Don't get me wrong, in some cases I agree with your opinion of some Americans, though not most of the ones who post here. They quite often do have a somewhat annoying belief that they're better than everyone else, I know. But they also have some extremely redeeming features, as a culture.They do, in the main, believe in personal freedom, personal property and personal rights. And they are not afraid to kick up a fuss when external action by a government, individual or corporation infringes on the rights they hold so dear.

And they're the ones you seem to rail against. Or am I incorrect? Correct the ones I've got wrong here;

1) You are totally against the belief that no relatively intelligent human being needs someone else to run his / her life.

2) You think government can do / organise / allocate resources to / manage things better than individuals or cooperating groups in all cases.

3) You think it's totally correct that those at the top should use force to stay there. Ideally while denying the use of counterforce to their 'inferiors'.

4) You believe it's not right, moral or permissible for the oppressed masses to decide they've had enough, rise up and string the politicians, bankers, corporates and willing running dogs of the oppressive status quo they are so desperate to protect up from the nearest lamp-post.

5) You are of the opinion that Americans are too stupid, prideful or conditioned by their capitalist upbringing to concede that there are times when they need the help of a larger group to achieve a given end. And that they are incapable of forming such a group, permanently or temporarily to achieve that end.


Have I missed any?


And for all the other paid government shills and those too stupid to see ALL governments for what they are - please consider this;

If individual sovereignty was universal, we'd all have to be VERY polite to our neighbours and associates. We'd ALL have to carry our fair share of the load. There would be very little room for the lazy, stupid or incompetent. Everyone who wanted to grow high enough to see over the porch rail would have to be a master of their own life in many, many different ways. Since approximately 80% of the human race (admittedly based only upon my own experience) seems incapable of meeting this standard, though it's not an especially lofty standard of behaviour and competence to expect a supposedly sentient species to manage, it's fair to assume that the human race would be considerably smaller than it currently is. And also fair to assume that it would shrink pretty quickly to this size if we were all suddenly granted individual sovereignty.

With what we have now, it's only a matter of time before some combination of the Four Horsemen, whether through natural means or human intervention, evens up the glaring discrepancy between the humans who are useful and those who are lazy, stupid, ignorant and think they're entitled to a free ride (I'm not going to sugar coat this, 2 of my 4 children probably fall somewhat into the latter category. Hopefully, I can educate them in time). I'm inclined to think it's going to be the human race that causes the diminution of the human race, but Mother Nature might still beat us to it, you never know. Seems to be a race between increasingly expensive oil (whether we're at or past Peak, or not, we've used all the cheap, easy stuff, it's quite clear), environmental degradation (I'm sceptical about the claimed contribution to climate change humans supposedly have, but I am fully aware of landfill, waste dumps, decreasing green spaces and smog. See all of the above at least once a week), religion, war and the directives of unelected UN officials to see which of them can start to kill off the excess population first and quickest. 

Make no mistake, depopulation is coming, through whatever means. The only question is; will those remaining be a race of men, noble in form and swift of wit, or a race of slaves beholden to those who would be king, and aspire to be God?




Manthong's picture

“Our plan takes power away from Washington and gives it back to the individual.” (@ 02:30)

Hey, Representative Ryan, I hate to rain on your parade (or the funeral march for the Constitution) , but none of your work or any of your plans are worth a Capitol Hill of beans if any of the provisions of Presidential Executive Order (better termed "Imperial Decree") of March 16, 2012 are ever implemented.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

The Rethugs are presenting this plan because they know it won't pass. It's part of the game. they could have passed all kinds of Rethuglican Utopian budgets that fixed everything (in their minds) from 2000 - 2006 when the Dunce was Prez and they controlled all of Congress. But they didn't. This is all part of the theater for the sheople. One party, two faces.

smb12321's picture

You sould like a walking sound byte.  "Everyone but me is dumb.  Folks are sheeple.  All politicians wanna hurt the country.  It's all a game, blah blah"  LOTS of folks complained about spending & debt under Bush.  Many were democrats who whined that a $300 billion deficit would destroy us but haven't said a peep about year after year $1 trillion deficits. 

Ryan's plan would be fantastic except for one thing - it doesn't redefine the role of government nor does it cut government spending.  When the idea arose to "starve the government" nobody conceived that the powers that wannabe would simply borrow 42 cents of every dollar and continue spending like maniacs.

Moe Howard's picture

Ryan voted for TARP. You really don't need to know anything else about that RINO. He is a leading Statist Party Member.

oldman's picture


Im sure that half of us here ay good ol' ZH----'seemingly intelligent people are begging for more' are drooling over this trick                         om

Pizza man's picture
  • Moron, gov programs are a ponzi. No return, no investment, but subject to the ravages of political theivery and inflation.

Let the people have jobs and keep what they make in accounts with their OWN NAME ON THEM.

Marxists marching off the cliff. Is that what this bolg is all about?


82,000 pages of tax code and 1.75 t in regs and you complain about reform. MORON!

fearsomepirate's picture

We should go back to the 1950s, when Medicare and Medicaid were fully funded by taxes, and old people retired and lived comfortably on Social Security for 15 years before dying.

Oh wait.

Central Bankster's picture

Demographics is a bitch.  We are going to need higher levels of savings to support longer life and all the economic costs associated with it.  The government is preventing real savings by usurping it with immediate consumption.

smb12321's picture

You unfortunately hit the nail on the head.  Most posters ignore the root of our problem that every advanced nation (particularly Europe, Japan and soon China) faces. 

The welfare state was conceived just when technology had enabled more children to live but it contains the very seeds of its destruction. When it became apparent that fewer kids leads to a higher standard of living, birth rates decreased and now populations plummet. Federa coffers take a double loss - fewer workers and retiring workers - while payouts skyrocket as folks retire to grab what they can while they can.

In the end, all the evil banks, Wall Street hot shots, global conspiracies and neo-cons are secondary.  No economy based on a debased currency, debt and consumption can survive the soaring costs of social payments.

AnAnonymous's picture

When it became apparent that fewer kids leads to a higher standard of living, birth rates decreased and now populations plummet.


Sure, sure, this is true even when it is false.

Ah, US citizens and their group obsession.

smb12321's picture

Not sure you're point unless you're saying it's not true that the idea that greater wealth can be attained by having 2 rather than 12 children is wrong.  There can be no better example of this than Europe where wealth (lol) is preferred over kids.  Or maybe every single demographer is wrong and are waiting for your guidance.

Moe Howard's picture

Exactly. The current wing of the Statist Party now wants to sterilize women between 18 and 24 [college age] FREE OF CHARGE!

Why take that nasty pill, or have to have an abortion, when you can be sterilized for life and not ever have to worry about reproductive rights again! Ladies, you can be EXACTLY like a man without a penis.

So who is going to be paying for all the old age benefits for those sterilized women when they get old? Illegal alien apple pickers?

The demographics look like a telephone pole now, cut the birthrate a little more and it will become a mushroom.

The Progressives were always for sterilization before, but it was focused on the people they thought were subhuman. Now it is focused on the people they wanted to keep breeding. Weird. It is like a suicide cult in slow motion.

jtg's picture

Grover Norquist is also a traitor. He used his influence to grease the skids for Muslims with Muslim Brotherhood connections to get access to the Bush White House and position of influence throughout the US government. He is a traitor. I don't understand why he isn't being chased by crowds trying to lynch him from one part of the country to the other.

redpill's picture

And you attribute all that to the tax code?  That's some, uh, creative thinking.

buckethead's picture

Zero tax rate on earnings from overseas operations seems like it could provide further incentive to offshore jobs.

Some country with favorable tax rates and cheaper labor would be sure to com courting.

r00t61's picture

No kidding.

Could it be that the '50s were so great in America, because the rest of the industrialized world lay in shambles, attempting to recover from WWII, and gasoline was $0.18 a gallon ($1.61 in 2012 dollars)?

Someone needs to learn about the fallacy of correlation is not causation. (

And in case this someone is still too dense to understand, here is the easily digestible Simpsons version:

[HOMER]: "Ah, not a bear in sight." [As the neighborhood Bear Patrol Helicopter and Stealth Fighter fly overhead]  "The Bear Patrol is working like a charm."

[LISA]: "That's specious reasoning, Dad."

[HOMER]: "Thank you, honey."

[LISA]: "By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away."

[HOMER]: " does it work?"

[LISA]: "It doesn't work!"

[HOMER]: "Uh-huh."

[LISA]: "It's just a stupid rock!"

[HOMER]: "uh-huh."

[LISA]: "But I don't see any tigers around here, do you?"

[HOMER]: [PULLS OUT HIS WALLET] "Lisa, I want to buy your rock!"


Here's my own contribution to the fallacy: the 1950s in America were great because America was fighting in Korea.  Therefore, in order for America to become great again, it only needs to conduct some war in foreign nations...

Oh, wait.




BKbroiler's picture

while you did manage to use up quite a bit of page space, this fails to accomplish its purpose of calling my argument falsely correlated.  Your argument, basically, is the gas price and lack of foreign competition (like we had NAFTA)? really?  

America was broke as fuck after WW2, and it patriotically taxed the shit of the super rich, many of whom profited greatly from the war, and rebuilt the country beautifully.  Getting 90% of the largest tax base's income was not the only factor, but by far the biggest.

weinerdog43's picture

But, hey,'re harshing the buzz of our conservatards.  Facts are an inconvenient truth. 

Dr. Engali's picture

Hey libtard. Maybe you don't understand. That 90% tax rate was never paid because the rich don't live off of income.

weinerdog43's picture

Hey wingnut.  Tell that to Mittens.   Fucktard.

Dr. Engali's picture

Again nothing intelligent to say. The "income "for the wealthy, the truly wealthy is just pocket change.

BKbroiler's picture

the rich don't live off of income.

There is NO WAY you're a doctor.

Dr. Engali's picture

There is no way you can grasp the difference between income and wealth. Two totally different things.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You are arguing with a jackass. It's a waste of time. Fucking socialists know only one thing: I deserve to take, by force, what you earned. They are lazy thugs dressed up as intellectuals.