Rangel’s Massive Tax-Increase Plan Gets Nearly Zero Old Media Coverage
Did you realize that Congressman Charles Rangel fully intends to enact a massive tax increase this year?
Oh, you thought that the Harlem representative only wants to fix and/or eliminate the dreadful Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
If you know otherwise, it's probably only because you read Robert Novak's September 17 syndicated column, which is the only meaningful coverage of Mr. Rangel's plans I have seen (HT to a NewsBusters e-mailer). In it, Novak revealed what Old Media either doesn't care to cover, or appears to not want you to know (bolds are mine):
Rangel Making History
Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, (intends) to turn the need for ..... a temporary tax fix (to AMT) into the most radical left-wing tax revision in half a century.
Unlike the Republican Ways and Means chairmen who preceded him over the previous 12 years, Rangel has a comprehensive tax strategy and a tactical game plan. His wedge is the AMT, the latest and most egregious lunacy imposed on the American taxpayer. Its present form would raise $1.4 trillion in revenue over the next decade, through taxation of 23 million additional families this year alone. Congress regularly prevents this calamity by enacting a patch that limits AMT coverage to 4 million upper-bracket families.
But Rangel has refused to pass a patch, and he has not hidden what he has in mind.
..... Rangel called in reporters (on September 7, the day after Sept. 6 hearings -- Ed.) to tell them an AMT "one-year patch is not on the radar screen." Advocating total repeal of AMT, he promised to pay for $800 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years with "the mother of all reforms."
..... Rangel talked about closing "loopholes," but the real money would come from drastically increasing the number of Americans paying the top 36 percent income tax rate and applying that rate to present capital gains taxpayers. Rangel also is considering the old millionaires' tax, but applying it to much more than millionaires: a surtax on household incomes over $200,000. All this would reverse the tide of across-the-board tax reduction begun by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and renewed by Ronald Reagan.
While Rangel appears to be preparing for big-time tax increases in 2009, he is giving it a try for 2007.
A Google News search on "Rangel Alternative Minimum Tax" (with only the last three words in quotes) shows little coverage, and almost no indication that anyone recognizes the existence of the tax hikes Congressman Rangel envisions. The same search at the New York Times shows no coverage since July 30. The fact that the net tax increase will theoretically be zero is really no excuse, as the press has obsessively covered the "who gains, who loses" angle in previous tax legislation.
So, why is a possible trillion-dollar tax increase on a large percentage of taxpayers, while granting relief to a relative few, not news?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.