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The tax bill that emerged from the Senate Finance Committee is worse than the one that went in. The senators dropped the destructive Btu tax on energy but substituted an even more destructive surtax on capital gains.

This pushes the capital-gains tax rate up to 30.8 percent, a rate that is high both absolutely and in relation to other countries. This inappropriate increase comes at a time when House members such as Herbert C. Klein, D-N.J., complain about the lack of money for start-up ventures.On May 12, he told the House that "just the other day I had a visit from a group from the electronics industry who said to me that they can create new jobs, that they have the business, that they can sell to foreign companies and they cannot get the capital to finance their ventures."

You might think that the Democrats would put two and two together and come up with a decision to cut the capital-gains tax. But that assumes Democrats favor the growth of the private sector. They don't. Democrats are committed to the growth of the government sector.

They have come up with a bill, HR 820, titled the National Competitiveness Act.

This act gives the federal government the job of providing start-up capital to entrepreneurs. It establishes the Department of Commerce as investment banker for start-up companies.

They will do this with taxpayer money, of course, thus completing the separation of risk and reward from accountability.

The National Competitiveness Act, like the capital-gains surtax, is a way to prevent the rise of new jobs and wealth. These are important achievements for Democrats, the party of government, because they lead to still more government.

They say this result is demanded by fairness, but in fact fairness would demand the repeal of the capital-gains tax. The capital-gains tax is a triple tax on the same income. A company that is successful and earns profits pays income taxes. This income is taxed again when paid out in dividends. If some of the earnings are reinvested, future earnings are capitalized in the value of the stock and taxed a third time as capital gains.

This extraordinary pummeling of success is justified by Democrats and their media allies on the grounds that the rich escaped taxation during the 1980s and do not pay their fair share.

This is a lie. Freely available IRS statistics show that the percentage of the total federal income tax paid by the top 1 percent rose from 19 percent in 1980 to 27.5 percent in 1988. The share of taxes paid by the top 5 percent rose from 36.8 percent to 45.5 percent and the percentage paid by the top 10 percent rose from 49.3 percent to 57.2 percent.

Obviously, the Democrats have a perverted definition of fairness - one killing America as the land of opportunity.