Tax and Expend

Don’t tax productive economic activity, tax wealth. Remove all corporate taxes (that’s practically been done) but also remove the civil rights of corporations as “legal persons.”

But wealth owned by corporations should be assigned to individuals (principally shareholders) for accounting purposes and then taxed. (We do that now informally — that’s why we say Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are rich.)

Wealth should be taxed in a way that reverses the accelerating trend to inequality (and plans for that exist). Under the pressure of neoliberalism, those European countries that had (small) wealth taxes have removed them (except France and Switzerland).

Removing taxes from productive investment (but not speculation — the Tobin tax) would presumably create jobs, as would the removal of income taxes (a much larger stimulus than is being contemplated). But the existence of jobs shouldn’t depend on whether they enrich corporations. People have a right to exercise their talents of head and hands in a useful way, and government must organize and apply that work. Everyone has a right to a job and a livable income.

I defended these proposals — which are hardly original — when I ran for Congress in Illinois’ 15th Congressional district in 2002. –CGE

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