On Congressman, Oklahoma 4th District, Tom Cole’s website back in 2008, he stated his view on the economy saying,
“America is facing some of the most significant economic challenges since the Great Depression.” – Tom Cole
That page has disappeared, but it was there. I assure you. The economy was in a mess.
Tom Cole to the Rescue
Cole’s solution to a scary situation was a much-needed tax reform which, as all should know, was one piece of the pie. But then Tom went wild and said,
“My personal preference is for the Flat Tax.” – Tom Cole
That’s very interesting to say the least. Why did Cole want a flat tax? Beats all, yet that’s the question Americans should have asked Tom, and not just Oklahoma voters in the 4th Congressional district. From his website we gathered what Cole said about taxes, but we wanted to check out what a few economists were saying, just for second opinion’s sake?
What about Paul Krugman? Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and in 2008 winner of the the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography, stated that,
“A flat tax almost by definition is going to be a big tax increase for the poor and middle class.” – Paul Krugman
So if Krugman was correct, then maybe we should think twice about what Cole said. According to Krugman, the flat tax would not be a great idea for the most of us. The Flat Tax might not be such a great Tom Cole solution for America–the America that “is facing some of the most significant economic challenges since the Great Depression.”
Another economist we looked at was Robert Reich, currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, former professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and professor of social and economic policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University said about the same thing as Krugman but was a bit more blunt,
“The flat tax is a fraud. It raises taxes on the poor and lowers them on the rich.” – Robert Reich
So why would Cole want something like that? Is he just plain mean.
Proponents of the flat tax claim that a flat tax would make everybody’s life as well as filling out tax forms easy. What they failed to convey was that the horrible filling out and reporting everything will not go away. But wait, maybe the only substantial thing missing, would be gone, would be that oh so evil capital gains tax. The last I checked I have no capital gains tax to lose. With two leading economists saying that I stood to be shackled to the lions share of taxation under the flat tax, I smelt something. Did you smell something? Rats?
Tom Cole wanted the Flat Tax. Here’s what economist Michael Hudson said,
“The notorious Flat Tax which would fall only on wage income (paid by employees and employers alike) and on consumer goods (the value-added tax, VAT), while exempting returns that accrue to the wealthy in the form of interest and dividend income, rent and capital gains.” – Michael Hudson
Was Cole wanting to be exempt from paying tax?
Tom Cole wanted the Flat Tax. He said so on his website plain as day and without embarrassment. On the first reading of it, I imagined a rouge staffer slipping the flat tax bit in as a joke when Cole wasn’t looking. But the thing was up there for several months. Cole had to have seen it. It was no joke as it turned out. Today, we can only assume that Tom Cole wants the Flat Tax even now. Yet, for anyone who has seriously looked at the flat tax thing, “The Flat Tax is a Fraud.”
Schemes of the Rich and Greedy by Michael Hudson
- Flat taxes aren’t simple and nor are they fair. They’re actually all about slashing the role of government (taxresearch.org.uk)
- Flat tax unfair to the poor (pantagraph.com)
- “The Problem With Flat-Tax Fever” (economistsview.typepad.com)
- “The Flat-Tax Fraud” (economistsview.typepad.com)