NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Taxmen -- Clinton And Gore -- Cometh

April 14, 1999

Why are personal bankruptcies up 56 percent since the Clinton- Gore administration took office? Why do American's credit card balances average upwards of $7,000? Why does the Internal Revenue Service publish 569 tax forms, forcing 56 percent of Americans to pay someone else to compute their taxes.

GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes largely blames the tax- and-spend policies of the president and vice president. The statistics are dramatic.

  • Since the present administration took office in 1993, federal tax receipts have risen from 19 percent of gross domestic product to an all-time record of 21.7 percent last year.
  • Over the period, the federal tax burden rose a staggering 45 percent per person -- from $4,625 in 1992 to $6,690, according to the Tax Foundation.
  • Including state and local taxes, the average taxpayer shelled out $9,881 last year.
  • Then there are payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare -- which in the case of Social Security have risen from 2 percent of income to 12.4 percent over the past 50 years.

Forbes prescription is to:

  • Give people the choice to continue filing under the current system or opt for a 17 percent flat tax -- with a generous personal exemption and no tax on personal savings, pensions, Social Security benefits, capital gains and estates.
  • Protect Social Security payments for those now receiving them or about to receive them.
  • Allow workers to invest money that would otherwise go to Social Security in their own personal retirement accounts.
  • Expand access to affordable, portable catastrophic health insurance policies and tax-free medical savings accounts -- as well as enacting other health care reforms.

Source: Steve Forbes, "Tax Reforms for Working Americans," Wall Street Journal, April 14, 1999.


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