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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:15 PM
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Democrats aid Rhode Island's rich
Democrats aid Rhode Island's rich

September 16, 2009

Gov. Donald Carcieri proposed to eliminate the estate tax for all estates worth less than $1 million. The Rhode Island General Assembly rejected this measure, but by "only" raising the exemption level from $675,000 to $850,000. This is, of course, a familiar Democratic method of "stopping" Republican proposals--by partially implementing them. (Incidentally, fewer than 350 individuals were subject to any estate tax in fiscal year 2008, under the old level.)

We were correct to state that there is a flat tax option, and that it primarily benefits the very wealthy. The "normal" state tax system is progressive, ranging from 3.75 to 9.9 percent, as Farris says. But individuals may also choose an "alternative flat tax." Here is how the Poverty Institute of Rhode Island College describes it:

In 2006, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed the alternative flat tax which allows taxpayers to choose between paying the personal income tax rate and applying allowable deductions and credits or paying a flat tax rate which would apply to all income, without credits or deductions. The flat tax rate started at 8.0 percent in 2006 and will be reduced to 7.0 percent in 2008; it is scheduled to fall every year until it reaches 5.5 percent in 2012.

In other words, the alternative flat tax effectively reduces the top marginal rate by presenting the public with an "option" that only makes sense for the wealthiest households. Although the flat tax option costs the state tens of millions each year in lost revenues, the Democrats in the legislature will not touch it--since indeed, they passed it in the first place.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:25 PM
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1. It must be difficult for Democrats to kiss the ass of the uber rich considering
all the Republicons fighting to kiss their ass.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:40 PM
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2. Is it fascism yet?
Isn't that what you have when both major parties are pro-corporate and pro-rich?


"The last thing this country needs is two Republican Parties." - Ted Kennedy


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