Saxby Chambliss has an editorial in last Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution that displays the trademark logic of our senior senator. “Tax reform is not tax raising. There is a major difference between raising revenues and raising taxes.”
True enough. The federal government collects fees, tariffs, fines and all other types of income that are not technically “taxes.” But that’s not what Saxby has in mind:
We don’t have to raise taxes to raise revenue. If we remove loopholes from the tax code while keeping or modifying deductions that benefit many Americans, the revenue generated will actually result in lower tax rates for individuals while giving the government more resources to pay down the debt. That’s a win-win. And that is not a tax increase.
YES IT IS. The Internal Revenue Code contains myriad provisions that collectively compute “taxable income.” These provisions describe the types of income subject to tax, exclude other types of income, allow certain expenditures to reduce income, etc. At the end of this long tortured process the Code imposes marginal rates of tax on the resulting figure: taxable income. According to Saxby’s logic, as long as the marginal rates are not increased, tinkering with all of the other inputs to inflate the taxable income amount is not a tax increase.
This is such a ludicrous assertion it does not warrant a response. It does, however, yield one of two inescapable conclusions: either Saxby Chambliss is irretrievably stupid, or he thinks Georgia voters are.