Once again this year the college basketball tournaments, often referred to as “March Madness,” provided thrills and excitement to basketball fans. The tournaments featured the drama of close games, overtime buzzer-beaters, Cinderella stories and underdog victories, all the way to the Final Four. Our annual April Madness – filing our income taxes – has no drama, no Cinderella stories, and the only underdog is the taxpayer. The “Final Four” are likely the only dollars you will have left after April 15. It’s April Madness time again.
There is good news and bad news regarding taxation at the federal and state levels when compared to the situation one year ago.
The first good news is that the 2003 tax rate cuts on income, capital gains and dividends have produced historical economic growth, and that growth is projected to last into 2006. Gross Domestic Product has grown for 17 consecutive quarters, the unemployment rate is lower than the decade rates of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and manufacturing productivity is rising. These and numerous other measures of economic growth have caused tax revenue from businesses and individuals to increase over 10 percent from the same period last year.
Second, many states are considering tax and spending limitation legislation to rein in out-of-control spending and return wasted tax dollars to the taxpayers. Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and Texas are just a few of the states where taxpayers have finally said enough is enough. Constituent-led grassroots movements in these and other states are shining the light on decades of wasteful spending at the state level and demanding accountability.
The third piece of good news is that support is growing for complete replacement of the tax code with a national consumption tax. More and more taxpayers are demanding action from their representatives in Congress, and their representatives are listening.
Just one year ago, there were 33 sponsors and co-sponsors of HR 25, The FairTax Act, in the U.S. House. Now there are 53 supporters, and new co-sponsors are joining every month. In the Senate, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) was the lone sponsor of the FairTax Act, S 25, one year ago. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John Cornyn (R-TX) now join Senator Chambliss as co-sponsors. The word is spreading about the overwhelming benefits to our economy and our wallets when we replace the nine-million-word tax code mess with the fair and simple FairTax.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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