Focus Point - Ditching the AMT

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. President bush wants to get rid of the alternative minimum tax as part of his stimulus package. Democrats are stalling. They shouldn't, because it's a bad tax that ought to go.

The amt perversely tends to increase a company's tax burden during an economic downturn, which of course only tends to lengthen the economic weakness the company faces. A company with revenues of more than $7.5 million has to figure its taxes two ways: at the regular rate and at a lower rate but without the tax write-offs -- and then pay the one that's higher.

A treasury department report last week found the amt increased the tax liability of more than 30,000 companies in 1998. It's a killer for the manufacturing center especially -- more than 5,500 manufacturing companies were hit with a higher tax bill. Of course, the point isn't to increase corporate taxes, but to reduce them to grow the economy.

Crazed liberals may have the impression there's something decent and just about businesses paying higher taxes, but guess who they pass the costs on to? Yep, crazed liberals. And everybody else.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.

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