Fox News nominated Bill O'Reilly to pimp Rand Paul's flat tax baloney to "the folks." Who are those folks, you ask? Well, they're the ones who watch idiots like O'Reilly lie to them and assume he's speaking truth.
Rand Paul is the most disliked Republican candidate in the batch over in Fox-land, but even they have found something to hawk to their "folks:"
According to most polls, Senator Paul is slipping a bit in the Republican presidential sweepstakes.
That's mainly because his foreign policy of quasi-isolation is controversial in the age of terrorism.
So now the senator is putting forth a flat-tax proposal that has some very attractive components to it.
It would shake down this way:
Paul's plan would mandate a 14-and-a-half percent income tax rate applied to all workers earning more than $50,000 a year.
All profitable businesses would also be taxed at that rate, along with capital gains interest on savings and other revenue the feds want a piece of.
Senator Paul would do away with most personal deductions, only mortgage and charitable contributions could be written off.
Business could write off purchases of parts and office equipment … things like that.
Overall Senator Paul's flat-tax proposal is friendly to the American worker.
An analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in 2011 says just the opposite. Right now the federal tax rate is generally about 9.6 percent for working people. Raising and flattening it doesn't help workers, it makes it more regressive.
For example, the recent offer from some Republicans on the deficit-reduction "supercommittee" would apparently limit the value of many tax preferences that benefit low- and middle-income families, while locking in a very low top tax rate and shielding the biggest tax preference for high-income Americans: the special treatment of capital gains and dividends.
A flatter tax system may sound great, but in reality, it would likely entail a massive shift in tax burdens from wealthy households to those who are less affluent.
But facts don't matter to Billy, even when they come up and slap him in the face. Because the fact is that a flat tax such as the one Rand Paul proposes would do nothing for "the folks," but it would kill Social Security and Medicare, which is a conservative wet dream.
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The Tax Foundation group -- pro-business and conservative -- says that the senator's proposal would increase the gross domestic product by about 10% over ten years and create at least 1.4 million new jobs.
Wheeeee. More jobs at $7.25 an hour or worse yet, jobs created in the mythical unicorn-y beast known as the "sharing economy."
But even if that happened, the feds would take in about a trillion dollars less in revenue in ten years than it is taking in now.
Senator Paul says he would make up that shortfall with spending cuts, as he is pledging to pay down the national debt.
The most controversial part of Paul's flat tax is that he wants to do away with the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare.
Right now most American workers pay almost 8% toward those entitlements.
Paul says you wouldn't pay anything and the revenue would be made up by American companies -- their tax contributions would first go to funding FICA and Medicare.
I call bullshit on that and so should "the folks." Rand Paul doesn't give a rat's ass about Social Security or Medicare other than as a target on his wall with a big bulls-eye in the middle of it.
BillO acknowledges that 14.5 percent won't do the trick, and the payroll tax would have to die too.
If you are a poor American, Senator Paul would keep the earned income tax credit so funds would continue to be paid to low earners.
Now Talking Points does not believe the numbers add up. You could do a flat tax, but it would have to be around 19%, not 14-and-a-half.
And you would have to keep some kind of payroll tax. You could drop it; 5% would be the very minimum.
However, as everyone knows, the American tax system is broken. The IRS is not a reliable organization to say the least, and Senator Paul's proposal separates him from most of the other candidates because he is putting forth something concrete.
The next presidential election will be won by the person who can convince most voters that he or she will help their financial security.
The Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, are throwing in with the tax the rich and business mantra to the fullest extent.
So it's more of the same that President Obama gave us.
Talking Points believes America needs a flat tax.
The question, will the folks rally around it?
No, Bill. "The folks" will not rally around it because it's a shit sandwich for everyone but people like Bill O'Reilly, who would love to not have to pay the pittance in tax on his megabucks he pays every year.
But he forgot to mention that part to "the folks." I'm sure it was just an oversight.